hen Esports first started coming to prominence there were many traditional news outlets and sports media that simply were not buying into the idea that people playing video games competitively could neither garner mass appeal nor be financially viable.
Those misconceptions have since been well and truly put to bed. However, for all the naysayers and detractors there were those people who saw the light; people who put their money where their mouth was by investing in Esports teams big and small.
Here are some of the celebrity investors who jumped on the Esports bandwagon just as it was about to pick up steam and blast off into gaming heaven.
Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson
Sometimes when it comes to garnering investment entrepreneurs will know that a well-connected investor can be worth their weight in gold.
Such was the case for Esports giant Team Liquid, who first garnered the attention of the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, who then went about assembling a who’s who of the NBA’s great and good.
Now not only does Jordan have a stake in the team, but so too do his buddies Magic Johnson, the owner of the Washington Wizards Ted Leonsis, and Golden State Warriors big shots Kirk Lacob and Rick Welts.
The team has of course gone from strength to strength, backed by a group of investors who know full well how to go about picking the right team.
Esports is rightly being seen as a boom sector by many in the know
While silly rumours continue to swirl about Iron Mike making an ill-advised return to the squared circle, the former heavyweight kingpin is certainly still swinging punches in the business world. He recently gave gaming outfit Fade 2 Karma the investment they needed to build a brand-new streaming facility near Los Angeles, which will be based on an entertainment ranch owned by the former boxer.
It was always unwise to bet against Tyson in his heyday and so it may not be such a good idea to bet against his Esports allies either, but if you want to take the risk there are plenty of sites out there waiting for you to do just that, just keep an eye out for the baddest man on the planet stalking you from the shadows if you do.
P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, Diddy or Puffy. Whatever this world-famous rapper-turned-angel investor extraordinaire is calling himself these days it seems to be working, with his investment portfolio bursting at the seams.
Just up the road from Mike Tyson’s new Esports team, Combs was also making moves in the gaming business, playing his part in a sizeable investment made in PlayVS, an organization dedicated to supporting up and coming gamers wanting to make their way in the industry.
Bad boys, bad boys, what you gonna do, what you gonna do when they come for you? Well, in Will Smith’s case he decided that when Esports organisation Gen G came knocking at his door he would lavish them with a multi-million-dollar investment.
The team is best known for its highly competitive Overwatch squad, although it also competes in a whole host of other online games.
Odell Beckham Jr.
It is not just NBA players who are getting in on the Esports action, with one of the highest-paid NFL players also wanting a piece of the gaming pie.
Odell Beckham Jr. eventually plumped for investing in Vision Esports, who he believes will drive their Esports teams all the way to the endzone.