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Why athletes like A-Rod and Marshawn Lynch are investing in the same esports team

The world of esports is getting richer and richer as NRG Esports is nearing a $15 million Series B financing round with investments from some big names in sports.

NRG Esports, a Los Angeles-based esports organization has rosters in Rocket LeagueCounter-StrikeSmiteVaingloryHearthstone, For Honor, and Overwatch.

NRG Esports boasts investments from retired and current athletes, as well as people in entertainment, ESPN’s Jacob Wolf broke down their Series B round,

“The new investment round includes a number of Bay Area investors as well as celebrities with an interest in the esports space. Rodriguez, who has previously invested in the company, is increasing his investment and joining the company’s board. Lynch, Strahan and former Cleveland Indians outfielder Marlon Byrd join Rodriguez as athletes involved in the round.”

That’s a pretty star-studded list of investors, with A-Rod, Marshawn Lynch, and Michael Strahan. Also, shouts out to Marlon Byrd, baseball fans will remember the former journeyman who played 15 season in the MLB.

This comes after a Series A round for NRG that pulled in investments from former Silicon Valley executives, Shaq, and retired Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins. From Wolf,

“The round is the third that NRG has completed since its formation in November 2015. Its seed round consisted of its founders, former Apple executive Andy Miller and 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov, both of whom own a stake in the Sacramento Kings. Its Series A during March 2016 included Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, Rodriguez and former Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins.”

With athletes from baseball, football, and basketball getting into the esports space, it’s clear that the esports world is gaining legitimacy.

$15 million ain’t no joke, and with ESPN already broadcasting esports tournaments, the medium will only gain more exposure.

So get your stats up and join a squad.