It seems like esports are becoming big business these days, with an NBA team actually buying two squads to break into the market.
If you're a fan of the Philadelphia 76ers, then you had your work cut out for you this past season. As Kotaku points out, the team didn't exactly blow anybody's hair back on the court this past year. It looks like the team is hoping to earn favor in a completely different arena, however, with the 76ers recently purchasing controlling stakes in both Team Dignitas and Apex, both well-known esports groups.
According to the original announcement, this deal will merge Dignitas and Apex into a single team, which will be managed and maintained by the Philadelphia 76ers organization. No word yet on whether or not the team plans to introduce some of these esports athletes to the basketball roster in the hopes of improving next season's performance on the court.
Surprising no one, both Dignitas and Apex are known for their prowess in League of Legends. Sure, there are other esports games out there, including Call of Duty, StarCraft and fighting games like Street Fighter V, but League of Legends has the biggest player base, fan base, and community support by far, helping catapult esports into the limelight on multiple fronts.
According to the purchase, the teams will now go under the Dignitas name exclusively and the 76ers will be in charge of all of the usual nuts and bolts of managing a team. Sales for events, merchandising, branding, publicity, and marketing will now be handled by the professional sports organization, a first for a U.S. athletics team. Apparently, Dignitas manager Greg Richardson will become the chairman of the new team, which will now have the support and backing of a major organization helping it along. We imagine life is about to get pretty sweet, and pretty-damn-crazy, for the roster of players. It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds and how the players and their management handle moving into these mostly uncharted territories.
And that's actually what's pretty exciting about this. What will this mean for League of Legends and esports in general? We imagine quite a few entities will be keeping an eye on the newly formed Team Dignitas in the coming year. If all goes well, maybe even more teams will be scooped up by major owners or, even cooler, maybe other organizations will start their own teams from scratch and recruit even more players to the esports scene.