Lets talk about the most famous basketball personalities who believed in the success of the eSports industry.
Rick Fox and Echo Fox
Back in December 2015, the former Los Angeles Lakers player Rick Fox invested in the industry. Before the start of the new season in League of Legends, he bought the Gravity slot at NA LCS. He established a team with his name and a basketball-like logo, Echo Fox. According to rumors, the amount of the transaction amounted to a million dollars.
Subsequently, the organization turned into multi-gaming and established teams for the most popular fighting games: Street Fighter, Injustice 2, Super Smash Bros. and Dragon Ball FighterZ. Last year, these disciplines helped the club appear on all every eSport platform. Since Dominic SonicFox Macklin became the best player of the year according to The Game Awards 2018.
Shaquille O’Neill and NRG Esports
In March 2016, Shaquille O’Neal moved into the gaming industry. Unlike his partner for the Los Angeles Lakers, he simply became an investor at NRG eSports with baseball players Alex Rodriguez and Jimmy Rollins. Today the club owns squads in nine disciplines, including CS: GO, Overwatch, Fortnite, Rocket League, and Apex Legends.
In addition to money, O’Neill is investing his name in eSports. Today he works as a TV presenter in the media company Turner Sports, which owns the tournament operator ELEAGUE. Because of this, he starred in advertising for the CS: GO championships and even took part in the Street Fighter competition.
Jeremy Lin and Team VGJ
In September 2016, basketball came to the professional scene of Dota 2 along with current NBA Toronto Raptors player Jeremy Lin. An athlete with Asian roots made an agreement with Vici Gaming and opened the Team VGJ line-up, where J stands for Jeremy.
The Chinese team showed good results on the international stage, and a year later another roster appeared – this time an American one. The teams became known as VGJ.Thunder and VGJ.Storm. The latter was later joined by Roman Resolut1on Fominok, with whom the team entered the top 8 of The International 2018 In the 2018/2019 season, both of the teams were disbanded, and the club was renamed to J. Storm – now it is represented only by the American Dota 2 roster.
Unbelievable run…defied all odds!! https://t.co/EikRkYIg2N
— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) August 24, 2018
Jonas Jerebko and Renegades
Jonas only bought out the team he liked, but saved the whole organization from bankruptcy. We are talking about Renegades, who in 2016 sold a slot in LCS and missed all the majors for CS: GO. The investment of the basketball player allowed the club not to keep hold of its FPS roster but also expanded to new divisions.
Michael Jordan and Liquid
Hall of Fame member Michael Jordan did not rename clubs or directly sponsored teams. In October 2018, he invested in Team Liquid’s parent company, aXiomatics. Terms and amount of the transaction were not disclosed.