• The Vikings’ franchise will join Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty esports league.
  • Teams from cities all over the country and within France compete in the league.
  • Other professional sports franchises have shown interest in or have purchased professional esports teams.

MINNEAPOLIS – The Wilf family, owners of the Vikings, have introduced a new investment to their Minnesota training facility – a professional esports team.

The Vikings will join Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty league, which features teams in Dallas, New York, Paris, Toronto, and Atlanta. Los Angeles will also bring forth a team, joining at the same time as the Vikings.

The rights for the franchise will be WISE Ventures, an investment fund controlled by the Wilf family that launched in 2018, but their location will be juxtaposed to the Vikings’ practice facility.

The team will practice in the STEM building and talks from COO of WISE Ventures, Brett Diamond, indicate that a professional arena may be built as well.

“The business of competitive gaming and e-sports has been evolving and maturing over the past few years,” said Diamond. “‘What does this look like 10 years from now, 20 years from now?’ That’s really what drives any investment like this.”

Diamond has direct ties with the Wilf family, as he has spent time as the Director of Partnership Strategy for the Vikings. His understanding of what the family wants will make this venture a powerful organization. Diamond’s next task is to field a team of players.

“If you have a local player that’s very successful, it’s an incredible way to connect with the community,” said Diamond. “But just like with any other sport, the intention is to build a roster that has the best chance to compete and to win.”

Winning will certainly be a top priority, as the entry into the league isn’t a trivial amount, with the Wilf family spending $25 million to acquire the league’s opening slot.

The Wilf Family will join the LA Rams, New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, and New York Mets owners by having investments in an esports league. This sport has popularity now, but only time will tell how much it will evolve moving forward and how much will translate into the legal sports betting market.

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