Team Dignitas acquired by Crystal Palace FC co-owner, returns to League of Legends via Apex

crystal palace co owner acq 1

Long-established UK eSports organisation Team Dignitas has been acquired by a sports business tycoon for an undisclosed fee.
US NBA basketball club The Philadelphia 76ers (aka The Sixers) have acquired controlling stakes in Dignitas as well as Team Apex, and has merged the two, meaning Apex will represent Dignitas going forwards.
The Sixers are owned by an investor group called Apollo Global Management, led by managing general partner Joshua Harris, who also owns the NHL ice hockey team the New Jersey Devils and an 18% stake in English Premier League football club Crystal Palace.
Harris’ net worth is estimated at $2.5 billion.
Since the announcement, Apex have changed their logo on Twitter to the Dignitas logo, and their players will now be wearing Dignitas jerseys going forwards.
This means that Team Dignitas is officially back at the top level in League of Legends, with a team in the North American LCS (ODEE did say he’d be back).
Dignitas were knocked out of the NA LCS earlier this year, but return through the merger and Apex’s roster.
The news confirms rumours eSports News UK had heard last month, that Dignitas could be up for sale.

“The combined organisations will create a powerhouse competitor in the booming business of eSports.”

This move also marks the first time a North American sports franchise has acquired an eSports team. We’ve seen some European brands make similar moves this year, including German football club Schalke 04 who purchased Elements’ EU League of Legends team.
Going forwards, Dignitas will have teams in League of Legends, CSGO, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm and SMITE. Last week, Team Dignitas quit Hearthstone and Trackmania.
Team Dignitas founder Michael “ODEE” O’Dell will now take on the role of president for the organisation, while games industry and investment veteran Greg Richardson will become chairman.
It’s not clear what Team Apex’s owner David Slan will be doing going forwards, though former general manager Michael Slan has become vice president and general manager for the new team.
In a statement, the Sixers said they “intend to manage the day-to-day operations of Team Dignitas, sharing best practices in sponsorship, sales, branding, digital marketing, merchandising, publicity and more, as well as devote resources to player recruitment, development and wellness.
“The combined organisations will create a powerhouse competitor in the booming business of eSports.”
The deal between the Sixers, Team Dignitas and Team Apex was fostered by Tobias Sherman of WME-IMG, who represents Team Dignitas on new partner acquisitions. The Sixers acquired the eSports franchises in partnership with VC firm NextEquity Partners.

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