Michael Jordan is getting into esports – as an investor

NBA legend and hall of famer Michael Jordan is leading an investor group that is funding Team Liquid parent company aXiomatic Gaming to the tune of $26 million USD.

The basketball star, team owner, and cultural icon led the investment group through his family office, according to reporting by Crunchbase.

“I’m excited to expands my sports equity portfolio through my investment in aXiomatic,” Jordan said in a press release. “Esports is a fast-growing, international industry and I’m glad to partner with this great group of investors.”

The investment group also includes Carlyle Group co-founder and co-executive chairman David M. Rubenstein, through his company Declaration Capital, as well as Curtis Polk, Jordan’s manager of financial and business affairs. Polk is also the managing partner and alternate governor of Hornets Sports & Entertainment – the business that runs the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, which Jordan owns.

The group didn’t disclose how much each investor had contributed to the $26 million total.

AXiomatic was formed in late 2015, and the next year bought a controlling stake in esports organization Team Liquid.

“The next generation of sports fans are esports fans,” said aXiomatic co-executive chairman and founder Ted Leonsis in a statement on the company’s website. “We are thrilled to welcome Michael and Declaration Capital to aXiomatic and look forward to working together on some truly cutting-edge opportunities.”

“From the beginning of our esports and video gaming journey aXiomatic has sought to bring together world-class talent in its investor group,” said aXiomatic CEO and co-founder Bruce Stein. “We are extremely excited to welcome these esteemed investors into the aXiomatic and Team Liquid family and look forward to their valuable and unique perspectives.”

Team Liquid itself is estimated by Forbes to be worth $200 million. AXiomatic says this latest round of capital funding will help it power “even more engaging esports experiences” and strengthen its existing partnerships.

Top image credit: aXiomatic Gaming