Gaming, Tech, Media & Sports Executives Launch eSports Franchise “Immortals”
A consortium of tech, gaming, and media investors announced today the acquisition and rebranding of Team 8 eSports. The new professional eSports organization, Immortals, is the product of well-respected venture capital and angel investors, including: Peter Levin, President of Lionsgate Interactive Ventures and Games; Steve Kaplan, Oaktree Capital Principal and Chairman and Co-Owner of the Memphis Grizzlies; Allen Debevoise, Chairman of Machinima; Gregory Milken, March Capital Partners Managing Director; Paul Rappoport, COO of the XPRIZE; Brian Lee, Co-Founder of Legalzoom, Honest Company, BAM Ventures; Akinobu Yorihiro, U.S. CEO of Japanese media juggernaut Yoshimoto Kogyo; and Machine Shop Ventures, the venture arm of world-renowned rock band, Linkin Park. Immortals will take the place of Team 8 in the North American League of Legends Championship Series, a professional gaming league watched by tens of millions of viewers and eSports fans.
Immortals CEO Noah Whinston explained his goals for the organization and the industry. “Immortals is starting with a League of Legends team, but expect to see us expanding rapidly into other top eSports like Counter Strike and DOTA 2. We recognize that the best way to grow the Immortals franchise is to work in conjunction with other team owners across every title to help the entire eSports ecosystem expand in a healthy way. We look forward to industry-wide conversations about sustainable business practices, competitive regulation, and player treatment and representation.”
In addition to its diverse and experienced group of investors, Immortals also launched with a marketing and technology partner in AMD. AMD is a global leader in high-performance computing, graphics, and visualization technologies used extensively in the gaming community.
“eSports and its legions of fans are a key audience for AMD, which makes our partnership with Immortals both important and exciting,” said Roy Taylor, corporate vice president, Alliances and Content, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD. “As a leading designer of graphics processing units and essential technologies for eSports gamers of all levels, we are looking forward to future endeavors with the Immortals franchise.”
“We’re thrilled to partner with technology titan AMD,” said Chairman of Immortals, former Square Enix COO and current Crosscut Ventures Managing Director Clinton Foy. "This investor group sees eSports as a marathon, not a sprint, and we want to work with bona fide partners like AMD, as well as teams, players, and leagues, that are committed to helping level up the eSports industry. We think this is a huge opportunity to create an amazing franchise and a next generation global NBA or NFL."
Information about the Immortals League of Legends roster will be released in the near future. Further press inquiries should be directed to PR@immortals.gg.