The Madison Square Garden Company has finalised the terms of an undisclosed deal to invest in Counter Logic Gaming. The move will see MSGC control the majority stake in the long-standing eSports organisation.
Counter Logic Gaming’s slot in the forthcoming franchise of the North American League of Legends Championship Series was never really in doubt, but the organisation’s position has been strengthened still following their acquisition by the Madison Square Garden Company.
Confirmation of the agreement came through on the deadline for CLG to submit its application for charter membership in Riot Games’ NA LCS next spring, serving to solidify their place in the league.
Counter Logic Gaming will need to pay Riot Games $10 million, upon their inevitable acceptance, to purchase a permanent spot, an overhead that will be significantly dented by the flood of capital investment will follow the announced acquisition.
The multibillion dollar Madison Square Company has grown in stature within the eSports industry in recent years, hosting sellout events in four of its venues.
The Madison Square Garden in New York and the Chicago Theatre have collectively hosted three League of Legends events, while the Wang Theatre in Boston was the host venue for a Dota 2 major.
The Madison Square Company is not unfamiliar to owning competitive sports teams, given their existing portfolio of organisations, including the NBA’s New York Knicks, the NHL’s New York Rangers and the WNBA’s New York Liberty.
This will be the first time Counter Logic Gaming has taken on formal investment, three months after the company acquired its first non-endemic sponsor, 5-Hour Energy.
“In 2015, Madison Square Garden hosted the sold-out North American League of Legends Championship Series Summer Finals – a first for The World’s Most Famous Arena, and a sign that esports was ready to command sports’ biggest stage.
“Since then, as we have been actively exploring opportunities to enhance MSG’s portfolio of live experiences, we have been keenly interested in esports as a natural extension of our core business.
“The sport now stands on the verge of enormous change, which we believe has the potential to generate significant growth.”
David O’Connor, President and CEO of The Madison Square Garden Company
Counter Logic Gaming was first founded in 2010 by League of Legends player George “HotshotGG” Georgallidis, who now operates as the organisation’s owner. CLG has competed in the NA LCS since its inception in 2013.
CLG now competes across a number of eSports titles, holding rosters in League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, Super Smash Bros. and H1Z1.
“This partnership with The Madison Square Garden Company will allow us to help bring Counter Logic Gaming at the forefront of esports both as a business and sports team.
“Our new partners have decades of experience within the sports and entertainment industry and being able to learn from them is one of the most compelling draws to the partnership.
“I am excited to make CLG part of MSG’s sports team family and for us to be able to call MSG home.”
George “HotshotGG” Georgallidis