London-based e-sports team and brand Fnatic has raised a funding round of $19 million led by entrepreneur Lev Leviev of LVL1 Group, who also joins the board, with participation from Beringea, BlackPine, Unbound, and Joi Ito.
The company has also announced that its current CEO, Wouter Sleijffers, is stepping down, to be succeeded by Fnatic's founder Sam Mathews. In addition to that, Fnatic has appointed the former Mercedes AMG F1 CEO Nick Fry as its chairman and the serial entrepreneur and founder of Affectv Glen Calvert as the COO.
Fnatic plans to use the funding to “strengthen involvement in tier-one leagues, including the League of Legends European Championships” and “launch new product categories in its e-sports equipment subsidiary including a new audio line,” the company stated in a press release.
Fnatic, which has been around since 2004, has a staff of 75 people, 45 of whom are the gamers that represent the team in 22 different game titles. In addition to actual gaming, the company engages in things “from designing hardware gear and apparel to launching community experiences,” as stated on its website. In total, Fnatic's players have won more than $8 million in prize money.
Image credit: Riot Games