FlyQuest acquired by owners of NHL’s Florida Panthers

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North American esports organization FlyQuest has a new home. The Viola family — owners of Sunrise Sports and Entertainment (SSE), the parent company of the NHL’s Florida Panthers — has acquired FlyQuest and its League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) franchise slot. 

FlyQuest was founded in 2017 by Milwaukee Bucks co owner Wesley Edens and Fortress Investment Group. The team started and built its reputation in League of Legends. In 2021, FlyQuest expanded into Super Smash Bros. Melee. 

With the acquisition set to go into effect immediately, no major personnel changes are expected.

Sports owners are no stranger to esports, but the NHL is generally underrepresented compared to other professional sports leagues. Monumental Sports & Entertainment — parent company of the Washington Capitals — owns the Overwatch League’s Washington Justice and a stake in Team Liquid. Other NHL teams — particularly the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and New York Islanders — have dabbled in esports teams and activations.

While the move will likely solve any immediate cash flow problems, FlyQuest must use these funds wisely. In June 2022, former CEO Tricia Sugita stepped down from her position to eventually become the CMO of rival Cloud9. With CEO Michael Choi at the helm and the current team reporting to new ownership, FlyQuest will need to define what the next era of the organization will look like.

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