After Cloud9 managed to convince investors to invest more than $3 million USD back in November, the org was officially one of the richest in Western eSports. It seems like the Cloud9 machine is going to keep on rolling with a further multi-million dollar investment after the org owned by Jack Etienne succeeded in their efforts to secure Series A funding, which could reach “at least several million dollars”, according to a report by LA Times.
With successful and, more importantly, popular teams in eSports blockbusters like League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Overwatch, Cloud9 is one of the orgs best positioned to sell their brand to serious investors all over the world. While neither of the main Cloud9 rosters have achieved big-scale success in terms of results, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s an extremely valuable brand for those organizations which don’t mind paying up for some good exposure in sponsorship activations. As one of the most well-known brands in Western eSports, Cloud9 almost provides investment security, which is very rare in the eSports sphere.
The financing-seeking efforts by the Cloud9 organization became noticeably more serious after Blizzard Entertainment announced its Overwatch League. The Overwatch League will have city-based teams, permanent spots akin to the NBA, and revenue sharing. To participate in the League, teams will have to bid on the cities they want to represent. It’s been said that it could cost up to $15 million USD to represent cities like Los Angeles or New York. With the Cloud9 organization being based in Los Angeles due to its roots as a League of Legends organization, because NA LCS is played in Los Angeles, it’s natural that the org wants to bid for that city. If the cited expected figures for a spot in LA are anywhere close to correct, Cloud9 will need A LOT of money to actually win the bidding war that is sure to be waged for one of the prime eSports destinations. It seems like they are at least somewhat successful in getting the funding they need.
Among the investors participating in this round of investment, there are some big names, like Antonio Gracias and Kimbal Musk from Tesla, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Hall of Famer Joe Montana, NBA player Andrew Bogut, and Chamath Palihapitiya who is a co-owner of Golden State Warriors among others. With such strong backing, Cloud9 definitely stands a good chance of growing their brand even more, leaving their NA competitors in the dust. It remains to be seen, however, if the size of the org will also positively influence their results in game as well.