NO MORE E-SPORTS TEAM DEALS FOR NOW, SAYS BILLIONAIRE
Confused market and player burn-out worry Mark Cuban.
Sports billionaire and NBA franchise owner Mark Cuban, who was previously rather bullish on eSports potential, said this week that he would not be buying any further eSports teams due to concerns about the confused state of the market and the speed with which team players burn out.
In an exchange with the publication Fusion.net, and despite NBA franchise owners buying up eSports franchises, Cuban noted:
“I haven’t and won’t invest in teams. Right now, it’s a gold rush to buy and sell and build teams. That’s creating a confused market. But more importantly, I’m worried about how quickly players burn out.”
Cuban was referring to the gruelling practice hours required of team players in addition to their tournament commitments and the pressure to do well in competitions.
“It’s a grind to keep up and to become great,” Cuban said. "I know teams are trying to do more, but the number of hours involved is a real concern for me. I’m not closing the door, but it’s not something I would pursue right now.”
Fusion.net points out that Cuban has already made substantial investments in eSports; in 2015, the billionaire joined a group of investors in a $7 million Series A funding of Unikrn, a website and platform that acts as a legal sportsbook for eSports events and matches.
NBA franchise owners have been active in seeking out eSports teams to buy; in the last few months, The Philadelphia 76ers bought up Dignitas. They were shortly followed by Pete Gruber and Ted Leonsis of Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards when they bought stakes in Team Liquid.