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Last week, LCL League of Legends team M19 announced new sponsorship from Strongbow Investments for an undisclosed amount “comparable to the top 10 largest esports organizations in the world” and a new estate gaming house, valued at approximately $22 million US dollars. Yahoo Esports received a press release following the announcement.
Andrei Mikheyev, head of M19, now reportedly one of the wealthiest esports organizations, held a press conference to unveil the team’s new sponsor and gaming house. M19 have acquired the Albus Nox Luna team in the CIS LoL region. As ANX, this roster was the first team from a Wildcard region to advance past the Group Stage at a World Championship.
The new M19 gaming house where the press conference took place is a Strongbow holding Moscow estate named Manor Nikolsky. It was built in the 18th century and is valued at 1.3 billion rubles, or roughly $22 million USD, according to The Auction House of the Russian Federation. This new house is only the start of M19’s plans to invest. New owners and sponsors Strongbow Investments, a portfolio assets investment group dealing primarily in real estate and medicine, plans to invest “millions of dollars annually,” according to the press conference, but Mikheyev did not disclose a specific amount.
This announcement marks the first massive investment in CIS League of Legends to develop a Play-in or Wildcard team, but Mikheyev claims M19 won’t stop there.
M19 plans to create a full-fledged “Asian-style” esports organization in Russia. They have started with a League of Legends team, but have stated they plan to move into Dota 2 and Counter Strike: Global Offensive.
The investment will go into developing esports teams and new players as well as providing a healthy environment. Each player will have a tailored training program, including physical education and working with sport psychologists.
M19 will also look for additional sponsorship, but claim they will not be satisfied with brands that “just give money and ask to stick their logo on the players’ shirts.” The organization wants active partners.
You can follow Kelsey Moser on Twitter @karonmoser.