Shaquille O’Neal, A-Rod invest in NRG League of Legends and CS:GO organisation
Following the example set by Rick Fox, Shaquille O’Neal and the Yankees’ A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez) just announced that they are getting into the esports business by investing in the League Of Legends and Counter-Strike organization NRG.
In a statement to The Daily Dot, NRG chairman Andy Miller said that
Shaq has been circling the space, and during CES he kind of fell in love with it, and he said ‘I’m all in, let’s do it.
NRG already had ties to pro sports via owners Miller and Mark Mastrov, members of the consortium that acquired the Sacramento Kings basketball team three years ago. Shaq is another part-owner of that franchise, and is now joining his co- owners into their new esports venture.
While NRG may not be an elite esports organization, both their League of Legends and Counter-Strike teams are decent. Their LoL team is currently at 8-8 in the spring standings, and the only teams placed more highly are the 15-1 Immortals and traditional juggernauts like TSM, Cloud9, and CLG. Within the slightly less well-regarded North American Counter-Strike landscape, NRG are just a couple rungs down the ladder from the top teams (though that puts them pretty low in the global pecking order). According to statements made to The Daily Dot, NRG is looking to expand into other games as well.
While this is an investement from Shaq, A-Rod and White Sox’s Jimmy Rollins it doesn’t look like they are following Rick Fox’s example to the letter. Mr Fox is very much involved in his team, he watches the games is up to date with everything. It appears that Shaq and Co. are just testing the waters at the moment with A-Rod not even making it public. Miller has stated though that tehere are a lot of similarities between the careers of LoL players and their new backers which might imply that the athletes will also play the role of mentors and advisors.