Live entertainment and sports company AEG has invested in competitive esports franchise the Immortals.

Under the agreement, Immortals will host its Los Angeles-based tournaments and events at AEG’s sports and entertainment district, L.A. Live.

The investment extends AEG’s interest in the eports industry, as last year the company entered a long-term global partnership with the Electronic Sports League (ESL), the world’s largest esports company. The deal enabled ESL to use AEG’s global network of more than 120 clubs, theatres, arenas and stadiums for qualifying events, tournaments and world championships.

Speaking about the Immortals deal, Dan Beckerman, president and chief executive of AEG, said: “AEG prides itself on being a forward-thinking, innovative company and is committed to leading the way as the industry evolves.

“Expanding our interests in esports is a natural progression as we continue to invest in growth initiatives that further our leadership in sports and live entertainment. L.A. LIVE offers state-of-the-art venues, production facilities and an unparalleled fan experience, and we have ambitious plans for the campus to become the epicenter of esports in Los Angeles.

“Through our partnership with Immortals, we are looking forward to exploring a variety of collaborative opportunities to further broaden the global appeal of esports.”

Since it was founded in 2015, Immortals has built a reputation as one of esports’ most exciting teams and competes worldwide for more than 200 million fans in global tournaments including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Overwatch and Super Smash Brothers.

The global esports market generates more than $493m (€442m/£391m) in revenues with an audience of more than 115 million regular viewers.  By 2020, the market is expected to grow to $1.5bn in revenues.

Chief executive of Immortals, Noah Whinston, said: “AEG’s unrivalled experience in the cross-section of sports and entertainment makes them an ideal partner for any organisation. Combined with Immortals’ competitive success and passionate fan base, this partnership provides unique and appealing paths forward to achieve our goal of creating the most exciting and fulfilling esports fan experience in the world

“Whether it’s through hosting events at AEG’s world-class venues, such as L.A. LIVE, allowing fans unprecedented access to our team and players, or the seemingly endless well of talent and business experience AEG brings to the table; this partnership marks an exhilarating milestone for Immortals and its fans.”

Image: Gabriel.gagne