Vision Esports, L.P., today announced it has closed a $38 million capital raise led by Evolution Media, the investment firm backed by Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and private equity fund TPG Growth, as well as some of the most renowned organizations and athletes in professional sports, including Odell Beckham Jr.
“At Vision Esports ‘We Play to Win’ and we know that esports are Pro Sports, with the same ecosystem components and business drivers,” said Stratton Sclavos, Managing General Partner, Vision Esports. “Our investors are some of the smartest and most accomplished names in sports and media and they share our passion, committing not only capital but also their organizational resources and relationships in our quest to change the professional sports landscape.”
The Vision Esports platform was created to target and invest in complementary companies spanning the entire esports ecosystem. With the close of this capital raise, Vision Esports is now the largest shareholder in Echo Fox, Twin Galaxies and Vision Entertainment.
1) Echo Fox was formed in January 2016 by three-time NBA Champion Rick Fox. Today, Echo Fox has over 40 esports athletes on its roster, competing in 12 competitive leagues. In the closely watched League of Legends Championship Series, Echo Fox is currently ranked first in North America and top 10 in the world. Echo Fox also competes in the top professional leagues for Call of Duty, Gears of War, Madden and H1Z1. Echo Fox also boasts the world’s most accomplished Fighting Games (FGC) team, competing in Injustice 2, Marvel vs. Capcom, Skullgirls, Smash Brothers, Street Fighter V and Tekken 7. Echo Fox’s Dominique “Sonic Fox” McLean is considered the best all-around FGC player in the world, with recent championships in Injustice 2, Marvel vs. Capcom and Skullgirls.
2) Twin Galaxies has been the recognized authority for video game world record validation since 1981. The TG Sports Bureau and World Records Division houses the world’s most comprehensive library of video game statistics and player analytics. In October 2017, Twin Galaxies announced a Pro League Division to establish, operate and govern new professional esports leagues in partnership with leading video game publishers. Twin Galaxies’ H1Z1 Pro League will commence its inaugural season in April 2018.
3) Vision Entertainment is a producer of original esports content and live esports events. The company currently produces five weekly shows airing on Facebook Live, reaching a combined audience of more than two million video game enthusiasts. Vision Entertainment also produces live esports events for digital and linear broadcasts, such as last year’s “H1Z1: Fight for the Crown,” which aired in a primetime slot on The CW in April 2017, reaching the largest viewing audience ever for an esports event on network TV.
“Evolution Media has spent several years advising and analyzing companies in the esports sector, and we’re particularly excited to partner with a world class management team led by Stratton, who we’ve known since his days running Strikeforce and the San Jose Sharks,” said Rick Hess, founder and co-managing partner of Evolution Media. “Esports is one of the highest growth sectors within all media and entertainment. We couldn’t be more bullish on the space and Vision’s market position.”
This new group of investors join the New York Yankees in committing to the Vision Esports platform. Additional investors in the round include Shamrock Holdings, the private investment arm of the Disney family; Seth Bernstein Capital Management; Simon Tikhman of First Access Entertainment and several other high-profile professional athletes and entertainers.
“We have been following the esports sector for several years,” said Dan Good, VP Business Development, St. Louis Cardinals. “In the last year, we have gotten to know the team at Vision Esports and felt this was an exciting investment opportunity. In addition to the sector’s growth potential, we were impressed with Vision’s depth of experience that is applicable to the new esports ecosystem, including Stratton Sclavos’ experience with the San Jose Sharks; Jace Hall at Warner Brothers Interactive; Chris Nordling at MGM Resorts and Mike Mossholder at UFC.”
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About Vision Esports
Vision Esports, L.P., an esports investment fund and management company formed by Vision Venture Partners, is the largest shareholder in 3 esports companies – Echo Fox, Twin Galaxies and Vision Entertainment, all serving unique, but complementary components of the esports ecosystem. Vision Esports’ offices, production studios and esports training facilities are located in 30,000 square feet of commercial space in Beverly Hills, California. The General Partners of Vision Esports, LP are Stratton Sclavos, Jace Hall and Chris Nordling and major investors include Evolution Media, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals and Shamrock Holdings.
About Vision Venture Partners
Vision Venture Partners (VVP) is a private equity firm formed by Amit Raizada, Rick Fox and Stratton Sclavos. The firm targets hyper-growth segments in esports, entertainment, lifestyle and technology. VVP leverages its partners’ experience, relationships and long track record of business success to seek out great entrepreneurs and operating executives in its mission to build the next generation of companies for Generation Always – Always Connected, Always Social, Always Mobile, Always Aware.
Source: Press release