Cloud9 closes in on $25 million investment

Cloud9 is nearing a $25 million investment to help fund Overwatch League and a possible League Championship Series franchise spots. Riot Games

Cloud9 is close to finalizing a $25 million Series A financing round following its reported $20 million buy-in to the upcoming Overwatch League, documents filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed.

Cloud9 has currently raised $19.7 million of its intended $25 million offering. This round is the second series of investments the company has taken.

Its seed, which according to SEC filings was a total of $3 million in January, included investment from football Hall of Famer Joe Montana, Golden State Warriors co-owner Chamath Palihapitiya, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and others. The investors behind the most recent round were not disclosed.

With the investment, the company has appointed FunPlus Ventures CEO Andy Zhong to its board of directors. FunPlus was a part of Cloud9's seed round in January.

The impending round closure comes after the longtime esports team committed a $20 million buy-in, paid over time, to Blizzard Entertainment for the London spot in the Overwatch League. It is one of Blizzard's 12 teams to participate, including franchises owned by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, New York Mets sister company Sterling.VC, and Philadelphia Flyers ownership Comcast Spectacor.

The team is also currently in the application process for the League of Legends Championship Series to retain its spot in that league. If it does get re-accepted, it will owe League of Legends developer Riot Games $10 million in franchise fees, with the first $5 million due up-front, league sources told ESPN.

Cloud9 was founded in April 2013 when former Team SoloMid vice president and businessman Jack Etienne started the organization and acquired the League of Legends roster of Orbit Gaming. The team has since attended multiple League of Legends World Championships, obtained rosters in other popular esports titles -- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2 and Overwatch -- and has become one of North America's most popular franchises.