An All-Star Group Of Investors Has Bought A Controlling Interest In Team Liquid

Written By Joss Wood on September 27, 2016 - Last Updated on January 22, 2018

[toc]One of the top esports teams in the world, Team Liquid, is now under new ownership. A large group of investors, with expertise in professional sports, media and the internet, have bought a controlling stake in the company.

The previous owners, Steve Arhancet and Victor Goossens, remain as shareholders, and will continue in their roles as co-CEOs of Team Liquid as well as serving as directors of the new company, aXiomatic.

Peter Guber and Ted Leonsis will serve as co-executive chairmen of aXiomatic, and Bruce Stein will take on the role of CEO.

aXiomatic brings enormous sports management talent to Team Liquid

Guber is the chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment Group, chairman/owner of Mandalay Sports Media, and the co-owner of the Golden State Warriors (NBA), Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB) and Los Angeles Football Club (MLS).

Leonsis is the founder, chairman, and majority owner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Washington Capitals (NHL), Washington Wizards (NBA), Washington Mystics (WNBA), Washington Valor (Arena football) and the Verizon Center (downtown D.C.).

He is also an experienced financier, co-founder of Revolution Growth which has over $1 billion of funds under management. As an investor through Revolution, Leonsis serves on the board of directors of SportRadar, among others, and is a director of American Express and Groupon.

Guber commented:

“The key to our future success will be to bring the resources and resourcefulness of our ownership group to Victor, Steve and the team they built. Ted, myself and the individuals that comprise our ownership group have an enormous wealth of experience and talents across virtually every major media and sports business category.”

Team Liquid has a global esports presence

Team Liquid is one of the most well-known brands in esports, with a roster of over 50 players split between ten separate teams.

The teams compete in the highest profile competitions in games such as StarCraft 2, League of Legends, Dota 2, Hearthstone, CS:GO, Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, Halo, Street Fighter, and SSBM.

Victor Goossens expressed his delight at the new trajectory Team Liquid is now on:

“Watching Team Liquid grow from a community site into one of the biggest esports teams in the world has been nothing but a joy for me, and this is just the next step in our growth. I am proud we share the same vision as this ownership group for the team and for esports as a whole, and I know that we will work well together.”

Team Liquid can expect massive support from new owners

The presence of so many high profile investors brings more than just money to the table.

Basketball player Magic Johnson and life strategist Tony Robbins bring a celebrity interest, while investors like AOL founder Steve Case bring the experience of running a billion dollar business.

Many of the investors know how to make the most of a sports team in terms of sponsorship and merchandising, and understand how to build an international fan base.

It will be interesting to see how Team Liquid will develop compared with Team Dignitas, which has just been acquired by the Philadelphia 76ers.

Which ownership model will work best for an esports team? The tight focus of an established sports team like the 76ers, or the broad base of experience provided by Team Liquid’s investors?

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Team Liquid’s new investors

  • Monumental Sports & Entertainment – One of the largest sports and entertainment companies in the country, Monumental owns and operates professional sports teams such as the NHL’s Washington Capitals, NBA’s Washington Wizards, WNBA’s Washington Mystics and the AFL’s Washington Valor.
  • Magic Johnson – Hall of Fame basketball player and serial entrepreneur.
  • Steve Case – Chairman & CEO Revolution, co-founder of AOL.
  • Donn Davis – Co-founder of Revolution and managing partner of Revolution Growth.
  • Dick Glover – Representing Mandalay Sports Media and its current president and CEO, former EVP of ESPN, former CEO Funny or Die.
  • Tony Robbins – Entrepreneur, philanthropist, and life and business strategist.
  • NextVR – Industry-leading VR company specializing in live VR sporting events for FOX Sports, NBC Sports, HBO/Golden Boy, etc.
  • Alan Shapiro – CEO of Dick Clark productions.
  • Mike Mahan – President of Dick Clark Productions.
  • Lon Rosen – EVP, chief marketing officer of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Tucker Kain – CFO, Los Angeles Dodgers and managing director, Guggenheim Baseball.
  • Rick Welts – President, COO of the Golden State Warriors.
  • Brandon Schneider – SVP Business Development of the Golden State Warriors.
  • Kirk Lacob – Assistant general manager at Golden State Warriors, Co-founder of imoji.
  • Harry Tsao – General partner of Juvo Capital, Co-founder of Juvo+.
  • Paul Schaeffer – Vice chairman, COO of the Mandalay Entertainment Group.
  • Jason Sugarman – Founder, chairman, CEO of Valor Group Holdings.
  • Blake Byers – General partner of Google Ventures (GV).
  • Chad Byers – Co-founder and general partner of Susa Ventures.
  • Mark Scher – Founder, principal of Scher Investment Group.
  • Jordan Rambis – VP development IDW, tech/esports consultant.
  • Fred Schaufeld – Managing director SWaN & Legend Venture Partners.
  • Zachary Leonsis – VP and general manager of Monumental Sports Network.
  • Eric Lefkofsky – Co-founder of Groupon, Innerworkings, Echo, Uptake Technologies and Lightbank.
  • Brad Keywell – Co-founder of Groupon, co-founder and managing partner of Lightbank, CEO of Uptake Technologies.
  • Lerner Enterprises – Managing principal owners of the Washington Nationals MLB team, Owners of Lerner Enterprises.
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Joss Wood

Joss Wood holds an English degree from the University of Birmingham and also earned a master’s degree in organizational development from the University of Manchester. Joss has a special focus on the international online gambling market, though he also writes extensively on US regulated markets, sports betting, and esports betting.

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