Cloud9’s recent $25 million fundraising round came from a group of companies that includes WWE and increased stakes from previous investors such as San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence, according to a report Monday from ESPN.
This is WWE’s first large investment into an esports organization, though earlier this month the company partnered with IGN to host the “WWE x IGN eSports Showdown,” which featured WWE superstars playing each other in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. They also produced a rather bizarre promotional video for League of Legends on Oct. 4, which showed WWE superstars AJ Styles, Charlotte Flair, and Xavier Woods supporting the three Chinese representatives at this year’s League of Legends World Championship.
According to the report, some of Cloud9’s previous investors also increased their stakes in the team. Pence participated in the Series A financing and became a board observer. Other parties who increased their stakes include Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and video game development company FunPlus. Cloud9 filed the investment with the Securities Exchange Commission on Sept. 27, though it didn’t name any investors.