According to a Bloomberg report shared by G2 Esports themselves, co-founder of the Alibaba Group and owner of the Brooklyn Nets, Joe Tsai, invested $10 million in G2 Esports, valuing the team at around $100 million total. With the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Washington Wizards, etc. investing in the past years, this is yet another NBA affiliate moving their investment into professional League of Legends.
The Bloomberg report claims that in addition to his financial investment, G2 hopes to utilize Tsai’s sports expertise to expand in Asia and more specifically, China. Esports and professional League of Legends has seen the most growth in China, and more Western teams are finding ways to get involved there.
This isn't the first Western team making moves in China though, of course. Former LCS org, Clutch Gaming, had a partnership with Bilibili Gaming before their sale to Dignitas and LNG is currently hosting TSM for a bootcamp in Shanghai. Team Liquid has linked up with RNG for content multiple times and also has a partnership with Chinese straming platform Huya.
G2 stated their plan is to utilize not only Joe Tsai's sports expertise, but also his advice as a Chinese person and co-founder of a large Chinese corporation. They're also said to be hiring Mandarin speakers and writers to assist with social media and other content posting as well. And finally, they already have plans to expand their office space to New York City, which is where Joe Tsai and the Nets are based, providing an interesting opportunity for collaboration in the future.
This is a smart, multi-layered business move for G2. And with China growing as the more dominant esports region, both in skill and audience, more teams may be looking for Chinese team partnerships, sponsors, and funding.