Major League Gaming (MLG), a professional video game league and provider of cross-platform competitions, announced Monday the initial closing of a $10 million financing commitment to be completed in Q1 2011. The investment was led by Legion Enterprises with participation from Oak Investment Partners, which previously contributed $32.5 million to MLG.
Legion Enterprises is a private equity firm focused on businesses targeting 16-24 year old males known to Legion as “digital mavericks,” as described on the company’s home page in an introduction as dramatic and epic-sounding as an Anonymous LOIC attack:
Legion Enterprises stands at the beginning of the digital divide – a massive generational split in consumer behavior between those who grew up digital and those whose roots are analog.
We are committed to the Digital Maverick; the new consumer for whom traditional business models and channels of distribution are antiquated and irrelevant. We develop, invest in and grow businesses and products that entertain and engage this new consumer as th e central point in a digital community that is inherently an open dialogue – not a top-down, linear channel.
We launch new business models as often as new products. We demand authenticity. We evolve by embracing our audience.
See you on the front line.
The firm invests in four key verticals: music, sports, video games and “over-the-top television.”
Legion’s latest investment brings MLG’s total funding to $52.5 million. Previous rounds include a $25 million Series B in late 2006 led by Oak Investment Partners, with another $7.5 million appended in early 2009, and a $10 million Series A raised in early 2006.
Targeting the approximately 40 million video game consumers in North America, MLG attracts about 4.5 million people monthly to its Web properties, where over 600,000 unique viewers tune in to each live broadcast of Pro Circuit competitions. The Pro Circuit covers professional video game leagues in Halo 2, Rainbow Six Vegas and Gears of War.
Naturally, 95 percent of MLG’s audience is male and under 30 years old.
“At MLG we are dedicated to providing our community with the ultimate competitive video game experience both on and offline,” said Sundance DiGiovanni, CEO and co-founder, MLG. “Over the last eight years we have set out to build competitive gaming into a global, cross-platform business and thanks to investments from companies like Legion Enterprises and Oak Investment Partners, that vision is well on its way to becoming a reality.”
In 2009, MLG acquired Agora Games, a company that operates communities for games like Guitar Hero and Call of Duty, for a combination of cash (undisclosed amount) and $3.5 million in stock.
MLG recently rolled out a site redesign and will continue to add social networking features and extra video capabilities over the coming months.
Going forward, MLG will use the new funding to continue expanding internationally and to develop its consumer and social media offerings.
Here's one of the latest videos from the MLG network: