Legendary NBA player Michael Jordan has officially entered the world of esports, becoming of the main investors in aXiomatic, parent company of Team Liquid, as part of their Series C funding round.
Announced on Thursday, October 25, Jordan is one of two primary investors, the other being David Rubenstein’s Declaration Capital.
It is the second big name celebrity to make a serious commitment to esports in the space of a week, after 100 Thieves announced that Drake and Scooter Braun had joined as co-owners. Current NBA star Stephen Curry is also an investor in Team SoloMid in July 2018.
Jordan is also the owner of NBA franchise Charlotte Hornets, making him yet another investor in esports coming from traditional sports background, largely down to aXiomatic.
Golden State Warriors owner Peter Gruber, and Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis are both involved directly in esports through aXiomatic, while Cleveland Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert invested in 100 Thieves in 2017.
aXiomatic is co-chaired by Jeff Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and now holds a controlling stake in Team Liquid. Jordan joins as a co-owner of aXiomatic, alongside fellow NBA legend Magic Johnson.
Team Liquid even sent a shot at their NA LCS rivals 100 Thieves in announcing their big name investor.
Under aXiomatics control since 2016, Team Liquid has risen up the ranks of esports organizations, capturing Dota2’s ‘The International’ title in 2017 – taking home $11 million – plus their NA LCS championship in Spring 2018.
Liquid were ranked as the third most valuable esports organization by Forbes recently, and will look to expand with this new funding, improving training facilities and bringing in new talented players.
Team Liquid currently field teams in Starcraft II, Dota2, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Smash, Street Fighter, Quake, Rainbow 6 Siege, Fortnite, PUBG and Clash of Clans.