The band Imagine Dragons have had a meteoric rise to fame throughout the 2010s, and they now sit as one of the most popular rock bands of the current century. And apparently, while they’re not releasing radio hit after radio hit, they’re also true video game and esports enthusiasts. Announced early today, drummer Daniel Platzman and lead guitarist Wayne Sermon have invested in the REKTGlobal, and are now co-owners of the company’s esports team, Rogue.
Interestingly enough, this is not the first time that Imagine Dragons and the world of esports have met. The band have been supporters of the competitive League of Legends scene, contributing the original song “Warriors” for the 2014 World Championship and appearing live in Seoul, South Korea for a performance at the actual event.
This partnership goes deeper than just a love of video games, however. Most of Imagine Dragons met at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, but relocated to Las Vegas in late 2009 and have been based there ever since. It’s fitting then that they would invest in Rogue as the organization is also based out of Vegas. According to Derek Nelson, CEO and one of the founders of Rogue, “The Imagine Dragons team is going to be an important part of Rogue’s future and the future of Las Vegas.”
REKTGlobal (“rekt” is a corruption of “wrecked,” best shouted after a flashy in-game play) was founded in 2016 by Amish Shah and David Bialek, and it was created “to serve the esports ecosystem in its entirety by bringing in best practices from sports, media, and entertainment.” Part agency and part production house, the company operates in many spheres of the esports world through entities such as their esports job board, REKTJobs, or their collegiate recruiting branch, REKTUniversity.
However, the most notable component of REKTGlobal is undoubtedly their esports team, Rogue. With teams across several current competitive games, the organization is best known for their success in the early Overwatch competitive scene. Featuring current Overwatch League pros SoOn, akm, and uNKOE, the team won several major tournaments against world-class talent and represented France in the 2017 Overwatch World Cup before disbanding to sign onto the newly-franchised OWL teams.
While Platzman and Sermon are certainly a huge get for REKTGlobal and Rogue, they aren’t the first celebrities to fall under the organization’s banner. Before being bought by REKT, the ownership stake of Rogue was purchased in late 2016 by DJ and music producer Steve Aoki. In turn, all three join the greater confederation of celebrities in esports, including Shaquille O’Neal, Marshawn Lynch, Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, Rick Fox, Magic Johnson, Ashton Kutcher, and more.