Former NBA star Kevin Garnett isn’t playing basketball these days, but he’s keeping his competitive side fed with esports.
Garnett’s sports management company Big Ticket Sports, LLC has invested in Triumph Esports. The organization has two separate branches including tournament organizer Rivalcade and Triumph Gaming.
“Our relationship with Triumph Esports is a natural fit as we look to showcase and elevate shared lifestyle experiences through competition, content, and live events,” Garnett said in a statement.
Garnett is the latest in a long list of NBA figures to bet big money on esports. Past and present players including Rick Fox and Shaquille O’Neal are closely tied to prominent esports organizations, while the parent companies of NBA teams such as the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors own franchises in League of Legends and Overwatch.
As part of the arrangement, Triumph will work alongside Big Ticket to bring esports to its own established events. Big Ticket recently acquired 3×3 basketball tournament series Hoop It Up, which had a role in standardizing the rules of 3×3 basketball ahead of its inclusion in the 2020 Summer Olympics. Big Ticket also owns Kick It, a similar venture for soccer fans.
Whether this marks the beginning of an expansion in Triumph Gaming is unclear. The organization fields teams in a handful of titles including Overwatch, Teamfight Tactics, and Apex Legends. This injection of capital could see Triumph Gaming expand into new titles, though it is also possible that the company’s efforts will be redoubled into its own event organization efforts.
While Triumph could head in a few different directs in the long term, its short term focus is on its Overwatch Contenders team. Triumph is set to face the New York Excelsior’s academy team in the North America West playoffs. If they win, they earn a spot in The Gauntlet.