Basketball legend Michael Jordan invests in eSports franchise

Michael Jordan is branching out into eSports. (AP)
Updated 26 October 2018
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Basketball legend Michael Jordan invests in eSports franchise

  • The next generation of sports fans are eSports fans: Washington Wizards owner

LOS ANGELES: NBA icon Michael Jordan is branching out into eSports, investing in the parent company of Team Liquid, aXiomatic.
Jordan, a six-time NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls and now owner of the league’s Charlotte Hornets, is making his first foray into the burgeoning world of eSports.
He was one of two new investors announced on Thursday by aXiomatic, along with Declaration Capital, the family office of Washington DC-based billionaire David Rubenstein.
According to Forbes the investments were part of a $26 million funding round.
“I’m excited to expand my sports equity portfolio through my investment in aXiomatic, eSports is a fast-growing, international industry and I’m glad to partner with this great group of investors,” said Jordan, who joined his fellow Dream Team teammate Magic Johnson as an aXiomatic investor, as is Ted Leonsis, owner of the NBA’s Washington Wizards as well as the NHL’s Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals.
“The next generation of sports fans are eSports fans,” Leonsis told ESPN in a statement. “ESports is the fastest-growing sector in sports and entertainment, and aXiomatic is at the forefront of that growth.”
In 2016 aXiomatic acquired a majority stake in Team Liquid, one of the oldest and most popular teams in eSports with more than 60 competitive gamers based out of Los Angeles and the Netherlands.
Team Liquid teams compete in a number of eSports titles, including League of Legends, Dota 2 and Counter-Strike.
The NBA is involved with eSports with its NBA 2K League, which involves 21 NBA team affiliates.


Simona Halep positive despite Dubai defeat by Belinda Bencic

Updated 21 February 2019
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Simona Halep positive despite Dubai defeat by Belinda Bencic

  • Former world No.1 blames three-set loss on tiredness after nine matches in 13 days.
  • Halep has high hopes for the rest of 2019, saying her game is in good shape.

LONDON: Simona Halep is still certain a good year lies in store for her despite losing to Belinda Bencic in the Dubai quarterfinals.
The Romanian former world No. 1 was the favorite to win her second title in the emirate but ran out of steam as her Swiss opponent ran out 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 winner.
It was Halep’s ninth match in just 13 days and she admitted tiredness had caught up with her.
“It was really difficult physically. I was tired,” the world No. 2 said.

Bencic came from a set down to beat the favorite in the last-eight encounter in Dubai. (AFP) 


“After the second set, I felt like I’m getting cramping a little bit. It’s normal. I was sweating a lot.”
While, her fatigue was clear for all to see, Halep was not using it as an excuse, admitting Bencic, who has now beaten her in two of their three matches, was the deserved winner.
“Yeah, she played well. She played very well. In the end, she was a little bit stronger,” the Romanian said.
Having lost in the Qatar final last weekend and failed to make the last-four in Dubai you might think Halep would be disappointed with her Middle East stint. She was, however, far from glum and revealed she is looking forward to landing more titles to add to her collection during the rest of the year.

Cheerio from Halep after her defeat to the Swiss. (AFP) 


“I think were three good weeks. Tough weeks. A lot of tension, a lot of pressure. Also the Fed Cup,” she said.
“I take only positive things. I had great matches. My level is good. Physically also I’m good. But day by day I had to play, so is not easy.
“I’m confident for the next tournaments.”