Sources: Warriors co-owner lands League of Legends franchise spot

From ESPN - October 12, 2017

Golden State Warriors majority owner Joe Lacob and his son, assistant general manager Kirk Lacob, have been accepted into the North American League of Legends Championship Series as the newest franchise owners, sources close to Riot Games and the Lacob family told ESPN.

The Lacobs will be obligated to pay a $13 million entry fee for the League Championship Series over the next few years. That starts with an $8 million upfront fee; $5 million as the first installment and $3 million for not owning an existing franchise in prior League of Legends seasons.

The Lacob application was consulted on by Catalyst Sports & Media, its president Josh Swartz and its two esports executive vice presidents Bryce Blum and Avi Bhuiyan, sources said. Catalyst most recently consulted on deals such as the Hersh Interactive Group's investment in Team Envy and the Madison Square Garden Company's majority stake purchase in Counter Logic Gaming.

The application was earlier reported by SportsBusiness Journal.

The Lacobs are the first non-endemic organization to be accepted into the league, which will admit 10 total teams from a pool of applicants that include longtime League of Legends teams and non-existing sports owners, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, sources said.

Joe Lacob is the third Golden State Warriors co-owner to purchase an esports team in the past 18 months. His fellow co-executive chairman, Mandalay Entertainment CEO Peter Guber, is a leader in aXiomatic, an investment group that purchased majority stake in Team Liquid in July 2016. Warriors minority owner and venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya was a part of a $3 million seed round of funding for esports organization Cloud9.


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