Team SoloMid

Within the past few years, esports exploded with growth opportunities. This latest growth comes as Swift, parent company to Team SoloMid (TSM), announced on Tuesday that they raised 37 million in a Series A funding round. A larger sum than the initial $25 million reported back in January from Bessemer Venture. TSM was one of the last major esports organizations without significant ties to major investors.

After all, owner and found Andy Dinh started his career making Champion guides for Riot’s League of Legends then turned around to create TSM out of his earnings. Speaking with Forbes, Dinh explained, “TSM has always run a very lean operation, so we haven’t set ourselves up to take advantage of the fast growth that this market is experiencing, so that’s what we’re trying to prepare ourselves to do.” With Team SoloMid being the most winningest (totally a word) team in the North American League Championship Series (NA LCS), the time has come for the organization to join the ranks of other esports organizations in terms of capital.

With League of Legends moving towards franchising this funding could not have come at a better time. Reportedly, $20 million will be used for franchising fees as well as a new epsorts facility in Los Angeles. Another $10 million used for further acquisitions and investments. With the recent success of the OWL, it is entirely possible that TSM is looking to take the remaining of their capital to bid for one of the expansion slots coming to OWL in its second season. However, at this time, their expansion into OWL remains speculation.

Here is the list of heavy hitters who teamed up with TSM through this first round:

  • Stephen Curry, NBA player of the Golden State Warriors
  • Jerry Yang, Internet entrepreneur, engineer and programmer
  • Telstra, an Australian telecommunications company
  • Steve Simon, co-founder of Simon Equity Partners and a board member of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers
  • Andre Iguodala, NBA of Curry’s on the Golden State Warriors
  • Steve Young, Hall of Fame NFL player
  • Yifang Ventures, Chinese venture capital fund
  • Colin Carrier, Chief Strategy Officer at Twitch
  • Walter Wang, CEO of JM Eagle

The industry as we know it continues to grow and from that growth, we see higher and higher price tags. As traditional sports become more entangled in the ever-growing esports sector the list of former and current traditional sports stars will only grow.

John Kelly
John Kelly fostered an early love for video games. By the age of ten, he played Diablo for the first time and the rest is history. Each game after focused his passion for competitive gaming; and while he never engaged in competitive esports, he loved the idea of becoming a pro gamer. John studied History at West Chester University receiving a BA. Previously a featured journalist with, John covered multiple games, including League of Legends, CS GO, Halo, and Destiny. John served as COO at Astral Authority, a professional team organization, growing the organization from 5 people and 1 game title to 35 people and 4 game titles. In his position, he was responsible for patron development and relationship management; and direct management responsibility for an organization of 35 people. He was also the face and voice of the organization, responsible for all media relations, including ESPN, The Score, GosuGamers, and the Daily Dot.