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and is hoping for a better performance in Rio. At the end of the first day of compet
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The Philadelphia 76ers will become the first North American professional sports team to own an esports team.The team will announce Monday that it has acquired long-time franchise Dignitas and upstart Apex, which offers a guaranteed spot in the highly coveted League of Legends Championship Series, and operate under the Dignitas name.Terms were not disclosed, but more established esports team brands have been offered in the marketplace at valuations between $5 million and $15 million. WME-IMG represented Dignitas in the transaction. The acquisitions come about a year after a presentation on the growth of esports was made at the NBA Board of Governors meeting.76ers CEO Scott ONeil said, We were smart enough to know what we didnt know, so ONeil brought on Greg Richardson, an executive who has had a career in consumer tech and video gaming and will oversee the project for the team.The market created itself and became a product that a quarter billion people are watching, and when they watch, theyre watching an hour and half a day, Richardson said. But at the same time, its an incredibly large, immature market that is somewhat of a Wild West.The 76ers are used to making first moves. On May 16, the first day the NBA allowed a team to sign a company to put its logo on a jersey starting in the 2017-18 season, the 76ers announced a three-year deal with StubHub. In the more than four months since, no other team has announced such a deal.We like to be agents of change, rather than sit and watch from the sidelines, ONeil said. Our owners, Josh [Harris] and David [Blitzer], have big eyes, big vision and big appetite.The past five years, Harris and Blitzer have acquired a total of seven franchises, including the 76ers, the New Jersey Devils, some minor league teams and English Premier team Crystal Palace.Theres no denying the fact that esports presents corporate America with a way to reach millennials in a way stick and ball sports just isnt, ONeil said.Dignitas , which has been in the space for 13 years, has teams in various leagues that play in five games: CS:GO, League of Legends, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm and Smite.Although Richardson said there might be some fun cross-branding between the 76ers and their esports team, the two markets, he said, have their differences, and if you dont respect that youre in trouble.One of the most important synergies in the deal could be in the mass merchandising of esports player jerseys. Gear has been available at tournaments and online but has always been limited. Michael Rubin, owner of Fanatics, the largest online sports retailer in the U.S., is a minority partner of the 76ers and is part of this deal.In May, German soccer team FC Schalke 04 bought a League of Legends spot in the European Championship Series.Former NBA player Rick Fox owns Echo Fox teams. Sacramento Kings minority partners Andy Miller, Mark Mastrov and Shaquille ONeal, along with Alex Rodriguez and Jimmy Rollins, are partners in NRG, which competes in more than five disciplines.It hasnt been smooth sailing for these entrants, especially in League of Legends, where, in their first season, FC Schalke was relegated and NRG fell back to the Challenger league in the North American equivalent.Teams have also entered the esports space by signing gamers. Premier League teams Manchester City and West Ham have signed esports stars, and so has Bundesliga team Wolfsburg. Falcons Stitched Jerseys . 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RIO DE JANEIRO -- South Korea claimed the first taekwondo gold medal of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics on Wednesday, restoring some pride to the country that invented the sport.Seventh-ranked Sohui Kim defeated Tijana Bogdanovic of Serbia in a tight final where both fighters struggled to find their form. Kim won 7-6.I never expected to be the Olympic champion, Kim said. I feel like Im on cloud nine.South Korea took only a single gold at the London Olympics and is hoping for a better performance in Rio. At the end of the first day of competition, it already had a gold and a bronze -- won by Taehun Kim in the mens 58-kilogram division.To chants of Korea in the stadium, Kim scored first against Bogdanovic in the 49-kilogram final with a roundhouse kick before cementing her lead in the second round with a head shot. She was penalized for avoiding the fight in the last seconds of the match, and a video replay contesting whether she had scored another head kick -- that was ultimately unsuccessful -- delayed her celebrations.Kim said that because taekwondo is a Korean sport, there is additional pressure to deliver.I feel proud that I can win (this medal) for Korea, she said.Bogdanovic dominated most of her fights on Wednesday and knocked out two-time defending Olympic champion Jingyu Wu of China.dddddddddddd The Serb said she was disappointed not to win the gold and disputed whether the scoring was accurate.The womens bronze medals were won by Patimat Abakorova of Azerbaijan and Panipak Wongpattanakit of Thailand.In the mens 58-kilogram division, eighth-ranked Shuai Zhao of China beat Tawin Hanprab of Thailand 6-4 to claim gold.The two fought in an acrobatic final marked by Zhaos almost continuous stream of head kicks -- made all the more colorful by the yellow trousers he was wearing in a nod to the Olympic officials decision to allow competitors to add a single color to the traditional all-white taekwondo uniform.Hanprab tried desperately to counterattack by using spinning kicks but didnt quite manage to connect.The 21-year-old Zhao won a bronze medal at the Asian Championships this year. The mens flyweight category was left wide open after the first round on Wednesday morning, when the divisions top two seeded fighters went out in their first matches of the day; another leading medal contender had to pull out because of injury.The mens bronze medals were won by Luisito Pie of the Dominican Republic and Taehun Kim of South Korea. Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys China Jerseys Wholesale Cheap NFL Autographed Jerseys Wholesale Authentic Jerseys Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys 2019 ' ' '
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