eSports & Gaming

Madison Square Garden Company buys stake in esports team

New York sports and entertainment firm invests in Counter Logic Gaming.

by Michael Long

Madison Square Garden Company buys stake in esports team

The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) has acquired a controlling stake in North American esports organisation Counter Logic Gaming (CLG).

Founded in 2010 by owner George Georgallidis, CLG competes across some of esports’ most popular games, including League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).

One of North America’s best-known and most consistent teams, they represented the region in the League of Legends World Championships in 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2016.

Following MSG’s takeover, Georgallidis and CLG will continue to oversee the day-to-day operations - although an MSG statement said the team will be able to benefit from the company’s ‘unmatched expertise in sports business, including marketing partnerships, media rights, event operations, ticketing, merchandise and fan engagement.’

While financial terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed, the move marks MSG’s most significant investment in the esports space. The company has previously hosted competitive gaming at its flagship venue, Madison Square Garden, in New York City, including the sold-out 2015 North American League of Legends Championship Series Summer Finals.

“Since then, as we have been actively exploring opportunities to enhance MSG’s portfolio of live experiences, we have been keenly interested in esports as a natural extension of our core business,” said David O’Connor, MSG’s president and chief executive.

“The sport now stands on the verge of enormous change, which we believe has the potential to generate significant growth.”

Georgallidis, a former competitor in League of Legends, added: “When CLG won at Madison Square Garden it was a defining moment not only for our team, but also our sport. It’s still only just the beginning for esports.

“We can’t wait to bring our teams and players to more fans on the world’s greatest stage. We believe MSG, with its exceptional infrastructure, world-class resources and loyal fan bases, will bring us to the next level of growth and exposure, and ensure we continue to compete at the highest levels.”