On the one hand, it was a rough weekend for esports organization Cloud9. The League of Legends team came within a hair of reaching the semifinals at Worlds, exiting in five games against Team WE. But a ray of sunshine came on Monday. Because it's a New Day, yes it is!
Cloud9 announced on Monday that it had secured $25M in funding across multiple investors. The investors include World Wrestling Entertainment, the Beverly Hills Sports Council, Washington Capitals & Wizards co-owner Raul Fernandez, Creative Artist Agency co-founder Michael Ovitz, Founders Fund and a joint investment from David Sacks and Bill Lee. The move will insert early investor and San Francisco Giant Hunter Pence, as well as World Wrestling Entertainment, as Board Observers.
This is a noteworthy move, particularly given WWE's involvement. The wrestling company hasn't been an active player in the esports world prior to this, but the company is obviously familiar with the video game world. Even beyond its annual line of wrestling games, WWE has an unofficial gaming ambassador in the form of New Day's Xavier Woods (Austin Creed) and his UpUpDownDown YouTube channel. Woods, along with several other WWE stars, were also at the forefront of the recent WWE x IGN eSports Showdown earlier in October.
Cloud9 will look to spread the investment across its infrastructure and its pro gaming teams, which include League of Legends, Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, both Super Smash Bros. games, Rocket League, and more.