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Kastles Owner Mark Ein Buys Washington, DC Overwatch League Team, Representing Baltimore to Richmond

September 7, 2018 - World TeamTennis (WTT) - Washington Kastles News Release

Lookout, DC sports fans. A new franchise is coming to town!

Washington Esports Ventures, led by businessman, investor and Washington Kastles owner Mark Ein, announced today it purchased a Washington, DC-based team in the fast growing Overwatch League from Blizzard Entertainment. The acquisition will make Ein the owner of DC's first esports team in the Overwatch League, the most prominent, global esports league with teams in cities around the world, including Shanghai, Seoul, London, New York City and Los Angeles. The team's exclusive territory covers the entire thriving capital region including all of Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, collectively the third largest economy in the U.S. and seventh largest in the world.

Ein is the founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Capitol Investment Corp. IV and Venturehouse Group, LLC, as well as the founder and owner of the six-time World TeamTennis Champion Washington Kastles franchise and owner of Washington City Paper, which he acquired in 2017. Ein, who will be inducted into the Washington Business Hall of Fame this November for his professional, civic and philanthropic contributions to the region, is one of eight new high-profile team owners in the multi-city expansion of the Overwatch League, bringing the league total to 20 teams worldwide.

"I deeply believe in the power of sports to inspire people, bring communities together and serve as impactful platforms to give back," said Ein. "We believe the Overwatch League, with the backing of Activision Blizzard and its city-based, global model, is the most important platform within esports, and we are thrilled to bring it to our DC community."

Overwatch is the most prominent, global esports league with teams in cities around the world, including Shanghai, Seoul, London, New York, Los Angeles, and now Washington, DC. (Photo: Blizzard Entertainment)

Joining Ein as part of Washington Esports Ventures are Artist Capital Management, a New York-based growth equity firm, as the lead financial partner and Dyson Dryden, Ein's business partner and a Baltimore native. Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, is an anchor supporter of the team.

The Overwatch League is the first major global professional esports league with city-based teams in Asia, Europe, and North America. Created by globally acclaimed publisher Blizzard Entertainment (a division of Activision Blizzard), Overwatch is one of the most popular esports games in the world with more than 40 million players globally, including nearly one million players in the capital region. In its inaugural season, the Overwatch League drew more than 10 million viewers in its first week and fans spent 160 million hours watching the best Overwatch players in the world compete throughout the season. The League has also secured high profile broadcasting agreements, including a two-year deal with Twitch - a live streaming video platform owned by Amazon - and a separate agreement with ESPN and Disney XD. The Overwatch League was ESPN's first live broadcast of esports in prime time, solidifying the league as an esports heavyweight.

"We are very pleased to welcome Washington Esports Ventures into the Overwatch League," said Pete Vlastelica, president and CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues. "We set a very high bar for expansion teams, and we're confident that we have a terrific owner with Mark Ein and his team, who have a great record in traditional sports and building a passionate local fan base."

Six-time WTT champion Washington Kastles owner Mark Ein aims to make DC an all-star esports city.

As part of Ein's continued commitment to the region, the DC Overwatch League team will host a number of activities in addition to the team's local games including gaming tournaments and fan events, which will draw interest from both within and outside the community. Ein's Overwatch League team expands his existing sports team portfolio, which includes ownership of The Washington Kastles in the World TeamTennis league. The Washington Kastles are one the most successful teams in the 45-year history of World TeamTennis and have been embraced by the capital region since its founding in 2008. The Kastles were founded with a community mission and have been often recognized for their contribution to the region including in September 2009 when Washington, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty presented Ein with the Key to the City, highlighting not only his Washington Kastles success on the court, "but for their commitment to the District's communities and our youth."

As an innovative businessman, investor and entrepreneur Ein has created, acquired, invested in and built a series of growth companies across a diverse set of industries. Over the course of his 25-year career, Ein has served as a founder or early investor in six companies that reached billion-dollar valuations. He also serves as a civic leader in Washington, DC through his leadership of many leading philanthropic organizations.

"We are excited to welcome the first Overwatch League team to Washington, DC," said Mayor Muriel Bowser. "A new global sports platform in Washington, DC means more jobs and entertainment for District residents and a new opportunity to prove ourselves as the sports capital."

"As the District's official convention and sports authority, Events DC is thrilled that the Overwatch League has awarded a team to Washington, DC and owner Mark Ein. We applaud Mark and his group for their continued commitment to advancing the District of Columbia and surrounding region on both a national and international stage," said Gregory A. O'Dell, president and chief executive officer of Events DC. "Our three year effort to position DC as an esports capital is now paying off. We look forward to supporting and hosting Overwatch matches and other exciting future esports events in the new Entertainment and Sports Arena in Ward 8 of DC."

For more on DC's Overwatch League team visit overwatchleaguedc.com and be sure to follow the action on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram @overwatchdc




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Washington Kastles Owner Mark Ein
Washington Kastles Owner Mark Ein

(Rich Kessler)
  

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