As the saying apparently goes, there’s big money in oil and video games.
ESPN is reporting that esports powerhouse organization Team EnVyUs is receiving a $35 million investment from Hersh Family Investment and its Interactive Group, all led by the Texas-based oil magnate Kenneth Hersh.
This financing marks one of the largest deals in esports history. Teams have been bought and sold for prices ranging from $15 to $25 million, and at the end of last month Madison Square Garden Company went into business with Counter Logic Gaming for an undisclosed amount that will more than likely be worth millions.
The $35 million seems like it has already been spent as well, for the most part. Team EnVyUs will relocate to Dallas and join the Overwatch League (OWL). The price point to franchise a team for the Blizzard Entertainment run OWL is $20 million. Once the deal is finalized, Team EnVyUs will be the eighth team in OWL, joining other North American teams funded by deep-pocketed companies like the Kraft Sports Group and Sterling Equities.
Team EnVyUs is also present at the professional level of League of Legends (LoL), the most popular video game in the world. The company that runs LoL recently announced franchising for its professional league, and Team EnVyUs has applied for a spot to the tune of $10 million. It has yet to be announced which teams will be accepted into the franchised professional LoL league.
The Hersh Family Investment Group is no stranger to esports either, having been minority investors in a $7 million funding round for the London-based esports organization Fnatic. Still though, this deal is much larger than any kind of previous involvement and Hersh is bound to be closely involved in financing decisions for Team EnVyUs. The team has not yet confirmed the deal.
Kenneth Hersh has some professional traditional sports experience as well, holding a director position with the MLB’s Texas Rangers.