Fresh off a magnificent run through League of Legends Worlds that fell just short, G2 Esports has announced the company’s second raise of the year.
Joseph Tsai, the owner of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and co-founder of Alibaba, has invested $10 million into G2. The esports organization based in Germany has been open about new plans to open a New York office in 2020. Clearly a partnership with the Nets may be in the works as well.
Earlier in the year, G2 raised $17.3 million from a group of primarily New York based companies that included Everblue Management, Parkwood Corp. and Seal Rock Partners. The stated plans would have the new offices opening up in NYC early in 2020.
Surprisingly, only a few esports organizations have made New York home, with most choosing to anchor down on the west coast instead. Andbox is the most notable company based in the city. The new company focused on Activision Blizzard’s franchised leagues owns the New York Excelsior (Overwatch) and the New York Subliners (Call of Duty).
Also in New York, Counter Logic Gaming was bought in 2017 by the Madison Square Garden company, but CLG still calls LA home. The NBA 2K League plays all its games in NYC, and the Fortnite World Cup was held at the Arthur Ashe stadium in Queens. But that’s about it. For one of the biggest cities in the world, there is still a ton of opportunity for an esports organization to truly capture the market.
This partnership with Tsai is great for G2 because it helps the company connect to two sought aftermarkets. Obviously the ties to New York are strong but Tsai, who was born in Taiwan, will also be crucial in expanding to the Asian market. Alibaba is one of the most important companies in China and Tsai will help open plenty of previously locked doors in the country.
Getting into the Chinese market is notoriously difficult for western companies so a key partnership will be important for G2 to help set the proper tone if an expansion to China is indeed in the works.
As western League of Legends teams are finally finding some consistent success against teams from China and South Korea, now is a perfect time for G2 to expand to the region. Winning the 2019 MSI gives G2 real weight on the world stage.
Written by Mitch Reames