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Wesley Edens is buying into the North American League of Legends Championship Series, according to ESPN.

By Mark J. Burns
December 12, 2016

Read about the latest sports tech news, innovations, ideas and products that impact players, fans and the sports industry at SportTechie.com.

Milwaukee Bucks co-owner and co-chairman of Fortress Investment Group Wesley Edens is buying into the North American League of Legends Championship Series, according to a recent report from ESPN.

Edens, 55, is reportedly purchasing Cloud9 Challenger’s LCS spot for $2.5 million, with four player contracts making up about $700,000. Sources didn’t tell ESPN what the future name or brand of the team would be.

“I knew (e-sports) would come to this but not this quick. It just goes to show how much money is about to pour into e-sports this coming year,” one source told SportTechie, who requested anonymity because of the pending deal, which still needs approval from Riot Games.

Earlier this fall, a handful of other NBA team owners and franchises joined the purchasing frenzy. The Philadelphia 76ers became the first U.S. professional sports franchise to purchase two e-sports franchises. A few owners, including Ted Leonsis, Magic Johnson and Peter Guber, acquired Team Liquid as part of a new ownership group, while Memphis Grizzles co-owner Steve Kaplan purchased a majority stake in eSports team Immortals.

Other sports owners, like the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Dan Gilbert and Miami Dolphins’ Stephen Ross, have said publicly that they’re pursuing e-sports teams.

“We’re in the hunt right now,” Gilbert said on Nov. 4 at the Michigan Sport Business Conference. “It’s insanity.”

Just last week, the Houston Rockets became the first NBA team to hire an e-sports executive for its front office staff.

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