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Team Liquid Parent aXiomatic Raises $25 Million in Series B Investment

May 22, 2018 Via ESPN

Team Liquid parent group aXiomatic has raised $25 million in a Series B funding round led by Golden State Warriors executive board member Bruce Karsh, according to an April document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The round includes additional investment from existing aXiomatic board members, including Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, Warriors co-owner Peter Guber and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik. Chicago-based firm Vernon & Park Capital also invested into aXiomatic with Karsh.

Karsh has joined aXiomatic’s board as a result of the investment. Karsh is originally the co-founder of Los Angeles-based investment firm Oaktree Capital Management, which he helped launch in April 1995. Karsh and Guber were a part of the group led by business executive Joe Lacob to acquire the Warriors for $450 million in July 2010.

“I am delighted to team up again with my Golden State Warriors’ partner, Peter Guber, whom I consider to be a visionary in the sports and entertainment worlds,” Karsh said in a media release. “And the opportunity to become partners with Ted Leonsis and Jeff Vinik, two other highly accomplished sports, entertainment and financial wizards, was an equally compelling consideration. With the skillful guidance of my partners and our co-founder and CEO Bruce Stein, I expect aXiomatic and Team Liquid to enjoy a fantastic future.”

The funding round is similar to those from other major esports teams in the past eight months. In October, Cloud9 closed a $25 million Series A round led by Founders Fund. San Francisco-based firm Bessemer Venture Partners reportedly agreed to invest $25 million in Team SoloMid in January.

AXiomatic — co-founded by Stein, Guber and Leonsis with a handful of investments from Magic Johnson, AOL co-founder Steve Case and others — acquired a majority stake in Team Liquid in September 2016. The company also has shares in amateur esports competition organizer Super League Gaming.

AXiomatic led a $16.5 million Series A funding round in June, backed by Vinik, the Walt Disney Company (the parent of ESPN) and former Minnesota Wild CEO Jac Sperling.

In October, Team Liquid won a bid for a franchise spot in the North American League of Legends Championship Series. As a result, the company will be required to pay $10 million over the span of the next few years for that spot.