The owners of Major League Baseball’s (MLB) New York Mets are backing a new esports organisation that will operate the city’s teams in Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch and Call of Duty franchise leagues.
The professional gaming organisation, called Andbox, will be the first in New York spanning multiple franchises, according to Bloomberg. The company will also bring more gaming-related events to the local area, as well as build out a merchandise division starting with apparel.
Andbox is backed by Sterling.VC, an early-stage investment fund that falls under the umbrella of Sterling Equities, the company co-founded by Mets owner Fred Wilpon.
Sterling.VC paid US$20 million in 2017 to purchase the New York Excelsior Overwatch League franchise. Then, in May this year, the company paid a reported US$25 million to buy a slot for a New York team in Activision’s upcoming Call of Duty league.
“Being at the forefront of gaming in New York is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Scott Wilpon, Andbox co-founder and Sterling.VC partner, told Bloomberg. “We are excited by all of the possibilities Andbox unlocks to represent New York in the world’s preeminent esports leagues, and we’re continually on the lookout for new opportunities that resonate with gamers both locally and globally.”
A website for Andbox has already gone live, although it says that the company is ‘launching soon’. Users can already sign up for updates about the firm, which describes itself as ‘the convergence of esports, entertainment, community and culture’.