Every day the eSports scene is growing in Australia, and helping lead that charge is the OPL and Riot's League of Legends. Today it was announced that pro LoL team Dire Wolves had received a significant investment from sports business group, Guinevere Capital. The investment is part an ongoing trend of traditional sports businesses or individuals buying into the fast-growing eSports space, but more significantly, it's the first major move of its kind to take place locally in Australia.
Riot Games Oceania announced today that Australian sports business group, Guinevere Capital, has purchased the majority stake of League of Legends Oceanic Pro League (OPL) esports team, Dire Wolves - marking the first major investment deal in an OPL team.
Guinevere Capital has acquired the controlling interest in the Dire Wolves, sponsored by LG, with the plan to level up the team and drive its future success on the world stage using its experience in traditional sports.
Backed by business investors, Guinevere Capital is helmed by Managing Director, David Harris, who has 15 years experience in sports management and has worked across top Australian, UK and International sports organisations, including the NRL, international and domestic cricket, English Premier League and Football League. With the wealth of experience and resources Guinevere Capital brings from traditional sports, its impact on the team and league is expected to be significant.
"The OPL is becoming increasingly popular for investors and sponsors as the league and esports continues to grow in Oceania. Investors help establish a support network for the players, which in turn sees the quality of performance increase in the team and the league, so it’s great to have Guinevere Capital on board with Dire Wolves,” said Daniel Ringland, Head of eSports at Riot Games Oceania, via press release.
"I’m thrilled to have Guinevere Capital on board and look forward to working very closely with them to further legitimise and push Oceanic esports forward. Not only resources, but also the sporting and business expertise that David and his team bring will provide significant value to our players, fans, existing and future sponsorships,” said Nathan Mott, Founder and CEO of Dire Wolves via the same press release.
As mentioned in the OP, this is all part of a growing trend where recently we've seen the likes of the Philadelphia 76ers, Schalke 04, Valencia FC and even Shaquille O'Neale buy into, or start-up, eSports teams. Is this the beginning of greater legitimacy for the platform?