Former NBA Legend Michael Jordan is branching off into the world of esports with a major investment in a startup called aXiomatic Gaming.
According to Bloomberg’s Eben Novy-Williams, Jordan is part of an investor group that is pouring $26 million into the company. AXiomatic Gaming owns Team Liquid, which is regarded as one of the top pro-gaming organizations in the world. AXiomatic Gaming has been in existence since 2015, and it acquired a controlling stake in Team Liquid in 2016.
Per Forbes, Team Liquid is the third-most valuable esports team in the world at $200 million. Jordan is already quite familiar with some of the aXiomatic board members, which include Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, and Peter Guber, the less smarmy co-owner of the Warriors. Jordan knows Leonsis well since he had a part ownership stake in the Wizards during his unfortunate return to action in the early 2000’s.
MJ’s decision to buy into the still-ripening eSports market makes financial sense but flies in the face of how he’s looked at video games in the past. The Hornets were one of nine NBA franchises to demur at fielding a team for the new NBA 2K League.
The size of Jordan’s investment aXiomatic was not disclosed. Esports investment isn’t uncommon for NBA stars and executives. Stephen Curry, Shaquille O’Neal, and Mark Cuban are among many to make similar moves.