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Madison Square Garden Company acquires controlling stake in Counter Logic Gaming

This will be the first esports team investment for the company best known for the Madison Square Garden venue and the New York Knicks.

Madison Square Garden before the 2016 Worlds’ Semi-Finals
Riot Games

The North American LCS has gained its newest source of traditional sports funding as the Madison Square Garden Company has bought a controlling stake in Counter Logic Gaming.

The purchase was announced by both organizations in a pair of press releases on July 31. According to the release from MSG, Counter Logic Gaming management will remain as is with CLG maintaining control of day to day actions for the team.

This is the first large-scale investment in Counter Logic Gaming as an organization, which already made it a rarity among North American organizations. CLG join a number of MSG controlled sports franchises such as the NBA’s New York Knicks and the NHL’s New York Rangers.

This is not the first investment in esports for MSG, however, as they have twice before hosted events for Riot. In 2015 the finals for the NA LCS Summer Split were hosted in Madison Square Garden, as well as the semi-finals of last year’s World Championships.

This partnership is likely a push by Counter Logic Gaming to make themselves more attractive as Riot draws closer to a final decision on which ten teams will join their initial NA LCS franchising deal. Meanwhile, for MSG it provides an opportunity to enter into a rapidly growing space they have previously showed interest in.