Zlatan Ibrahimovic ventures into esports with investment in Challengermode

Following his investment in Swedish company Isbit Game, Zlatan deepens his ties in esports with startup Challengermode. 

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Challengermode, a company that believes in bringing competitive gaming accessibility to users world round, has officially announced that football legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic is now an investor. The Manchester United star is well known for his off-field investments as he owns a drinks company and a clothing line but this is Zlatan’s second foray into the vastly growing esports market. In 2016, the Swede acquired a 12.5% stake in Isbit Game after meeting CEO Markus Koos through a mutual friend.

Zlatan & Challengermode

Seeing the potential in the market, Zlatan is now getting involved with Challengermode who bring together gamers, game makers and esports organizers on one platform. The company, founded in 2014, has now raised $1.3 million through their second round of financing. Of note, the former Lundin Petroleum CEO, Ashley Heppenstall, has also invested in the startup; Zlatan and the Lundin family have a previous relationship as they are both involved in the aforementioned Isbit Game. In an interview with Swedish site breakit.se, Challengermode have stated that they’ll use the funds to execute their roadmap while scaling up the number of competitions and tournaments they run. 

Challengermode currently offer team and tournament services for popular MOBA esport League of Legends and first person shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Using their platform you can connect your official game accounts, participate in free daily tournaments and win real money in certain game modes.

As esports continue to become more mainstream, it’s companies like Challengermode who are bridging the gap between the professional level of play and the everyday gaming community. The core team is building a product and a company based on the values they find necessary to make esports the biggest sport in the world – “Professionalism, Seriousness and Community”. With those three traits, it seems as if they’ve found the perfect fit with footballing superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

This is the second major investment in esports by a sports personality of the year; last month, Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Wesley Edens founded League of Legends team FlyQuest. With the way the industry is trending, it’s sure to be followed by several other such high-profile esports investments in 2017.

Here is the official press release from Challengermode:

Esports – competitive computer gaming – is soon set to become one of the largest sports in the world. Challengermode, a Swedish tech startup and online competitive gaming platform, recently closed a new round of funding with the vision to become one of the leading platforms in this fast growing and exciting space.

After launching the first Nordic university esports championship together with Hewlett Packard’s (HP) sub brand Omen by HP, Challengermode raises a new round totaling $1.3M from strategic and internal investors, including famous soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimović.

The additional funding will allow Challengermode to leverage its recent growth by continuing to build stronger relationships with brands, esports organizations and game developers. Ultimately, this will serve as the next step in Challengermode’s mission of providing the best and most accessible competitive gaming experience for gamers.

Founded in Stockholm in 2014, Challengermode is an online competitive gaming platform that allows regular gamers to compete like professionals in some of the biggest computer games, with prizes ranging from money to sponsored products.

The company has quickly grown to become a leading actor in the Northern European esports scene, working with major partners.Twitch, Nordea and Save the Children area few of them.

We are now seeing the next phase of esports going mainstream around the world, and we couldn’t be more excited by the brands and investors who havechosen to join us in creating tools for players and brands alike to thrive in this booming field.

– Robel Efrem, CEO & founder of Challengermode