Established in late 2015 primarily as a League of Legends esports team, Immortal's debut season saw them win 33 of their 36 regular season games, before failing to qualify for the World Championship. They've "almost completely upended their roster for 2017," according to LoLesports.com, and now move forward into the new year with investment from La La Land movie firm Lionsgate Films.
Also competing in Super Smash Bros, Counter-Strike: Go, and Overwatch, Immortals are now considered a prolific esports team on the world stage—one Cassandra Marshall singled out last year in light of its rivalry with competitive counterparts Cloud 9.
"Lionsgate joins a dream team of media, tech and traditional sports partners who share our vision of building a dynamic Immortals organisation and a strong e-sports foundation," says Immortals chairman Clinton Foy in a statement. "What we're doing today in eSports is like the early days of building the NFL and NBA. It's not the evolution of games - it's the evolution of sports, technology and media."
The move to back Immortals marks the second occasion Lionsgate has shown interest in esports, having partnered with the Electronic Sports League to develop a reality TV show about Halo 5's competitive spectrum last year.
Peter Levin, Lionsgate president of interactive ventures and games, Peter Levin, adds: "We're delighted to be an early mover in a market that has the potential to transform the face of sports entertainment. Our involvement in eSports creates tremendous opportunities to develop new content and utilize our suite of distribution platforms for a coveted consumer demographic with compelling engagement metrics.
"Collaborating with an elite group of partners, the combination of the Lionsgate and Immortals brands will be formidable."