From former NBA player Rick Fox buying and running his own team and the NBA just announcing its own “eLeague,” to European athletic clubs joining League of Legends tournaments, it seems as if the line between traditional and electronic sports keeps getting more and more blurred everyday.
Now it’s the NHL’s turn.
Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs’ company, Delaware North, is partnering with multi-esports organization Splyce.
“Delaware North prides itself on being a forward-thinking and innovative company. From our work with The Future of Sports to our exciting partnership with Splyce, we are committed to leading the way in ‘what’s next’ across our industry,” said Jacobs in a release.
In a video released on Thursday promoting the partnership with Splyce, images of the Delaware North owned TD Garden are shown implying the home of the Bruins and the NBA’s Boston Celtics will soon regularly host esports events.
“A major focus at Splyce is the application of traditional sports knowledge into our growing esports industry,” Marty Strenczewilk, CEO and president of Splyce, said in a statement. “… We are equally excited about the opportunity to rally one of the most passionate and loyal local fan-bases in professional sports into a legion of Splyce fans. With these powerful resources behind us, Splyce is equipped to become the premier esports team in the world.”
Despite being founded in 2015, Splyce is already one of the top esports organizations in the world, ranking 60th on the highest overall team earnings rankings with $679,490.51 cents won across 152 competitions, according to esports earnings.
Splyce has teams and players in nine different games, League of Legends, Call of Duty, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Gears of War 4, Overwatch, StarCraft 2, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Hearthstone and World of Warcraft Arena.
Notable results for Splyce include a 2016 World of Warcraft world championship, a Call of Duty world championship runner-up and a second-place finish in the European League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split playoffs.
According to The Future of Sports report for 2016, $65 million of esports prize money was claimed in 2015 and is doubling annually.