NBA veteran Jonas Jerebko today announced that he has purchased the eSports franchise Renegades. A longtime video game enthusiast and member of the Boston Celtics, Jerebko has assumed full control of the Renegades’ Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) team. His first move as Renegades owner was the acquisition of a Call of Duty team to expand the franchise’s reach in the eSports industry.
WME | IMG facilitated the agreement between Jerebko and Renegades. “The opportunity to own Renegades and bring some of my knowledge from professional basketball to eSports is incredible,” said Jerebko. “I grew up in the video game era, and I was exposed to Counter-Strike at a young age. I have watched the eSports world explode and, for me, it’s really exciting to be a team owner and help push the industry forward.”
Jerebko has been a team representative for the NBA Players’ Union with the Detroit Pistons, where he played from 2009-15, and the Celtics. “I plan to operate our organization in the same fashion that NBA teams function – with respect and support for the players and an appreciation for the fans,” Jerebko continued. “The eSports industry is evolving, and the parallels to mainstream sports are becoming clearer. I hope my experience in sports can positively impact Renegades and, in turn, the eSports industry.” Jerebko also stated that Renegades will be hiring eSports industry experts to join the growing franchise in the near future.
The Renegades CS:GO team includes Aaron “AZR” Ward, Justin “jks” Savage, Yaman “yam” Ergenekon, Karlo “Ustilo” Pivac, Ricardo “Rickeh” Mulholland, Nicholas “peekay” Wise and Chris “GoMeZ” Orfanellis. The Call of Duty team includes Adam “KiLLa” Sloss, Troy “Sender” Michaels, Martin “Chino” Chino and Steven “Diabolic” Rivero.
The Renegades CS:GO team has relocated from Australia to a team house in suburban Detroit. They compete against top tier North American teams in the Electronic Sports League (ESL) and WME | IMG and Turner’s ELEAGUE, which launches its second season in September. The Renegades Call of Duty team will participate in the Call of Duty World League Championship in September.
“It’s so encouraging to watch more mainstream athletes playing active roles in eSports,” said Tobias Sherman, global head of eSports at WME | IMG. “Jonas understands the industry as a fan and a gamer, and he will be able to share his authentic knowledge of the sports world with Renegades.
For more information, follow @Renegades and @JonasJerebko on Twitter or visit www.RenegadesPro.com.
IMG is a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, operating in more than 30 countries. The company represents and manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is one of the largest independent producers and distributors of sports media. IMG also specializes in sports training; league development; and marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. In 2014, IMG was acquired by WME, a leading global entertainment agency.
Source: Press release