Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is expanding his sporting presence from basketball courts to the personal computer, as he has taken notice of the gargantuan 36 million viewership raked in by the World Championship of e Sports poster child, League of Legends. Cuban, 57, has expressed the desire of “starting [a team] as backer and operator”; an involvement not unlike the one he currently has with his Western Conference NBA team. “I’ve played and know a fair amount,” Cuban says, “but I’m in no rush.” As Cuban is making his first strides into this E-Sports fray you should too, check out our online sportsbook E-Sports Odds category by clicking here to get into the action.
Now, if you think this is the first time an NBA alum goes into the ridiculously lucrative business of professional eSports, well, you’d be wrong! On December 18, 2015, former Los Angeles Lakers player Rick Fox, purchased professional League of Legends team Gravity Gaming (for around $1,000,000 USD), and rebranded it as Echo Fox. Furthermore, on January 26, 2016, Echo Fox announced it would be branching out to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, with its CS:GO roster disclosed that same day.
Back in November, Cuban participated in a charity event for the CyberSmile Foundation, in which he played a match of League of Legends against Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich (and in case you’re wondering, yes, Mark Cuban won). Perhaps more glaring that the victory itself was his fervor for the game, as evidenced by his interview before the match. In it, he referred Colin Cowherd’s (co-host of The Herd) infamous whining over a Heroes of the Storm tournament airing on ESPN2.
Cuban said, “I love Colin, but he is an idiot when it comes to eSports. I’m a noob, I’m still getting into it, but I love it. It is like playing five dimensional Chess against the world; it is one of the smartest games I’ve ever played, you gotta have dexterity, you gotta be quick. This is a real sport. People are going to figure it out really, really quick.”
Cuban later on remarked he caught up on the game rather swiftly because he is “f**king smart.” Upon being informed he had been fined $15,000 for saying the F-word, Cuban reflected that the money was going to the CyberSmile Foundation and simply added, “f**k it.” And so $30,000 went to charity thanks to his hearty enthusiasm of eSports.
I can’t speak for you, fellas, but a Mark Cuban League of Legends professional team is something I would very much like to see happen!
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