NBA 2K League Game Played in Lake Nona Huge Success for Magic Gaming, leAD, Tavistock and Full Sail University

ORLANDO – Several months back, the NBA 2K League asked participating teams whether any of them would be interested in hosting a game in their home market this season.

Magic Gaming, excited for the opportunity, was one of seven teams to raise their hands.

That game in Orlando took place Sunday at the leAD Lake Nona Sports & Health Accelerator, Magic Gaming’s new home, against Hornets Venom GT.

Not only did fans get to watch the team play in person, but by opening their doors, Magic Gaming was able to show them how much esports has grown and evolved in the Central Florida community.

“Part of our ambition for the season was to establish our brand in the Orlando community and be seen really as Orlando’s professional esports team,” Orlando Magic Senior Vice President of Strategy & Innovation Jay Riola said. “Part of that was accomplished by the move to leAD and Lake Nona…Today was a big milestone for us, to play our first home game in front of Orlando fans and to give people of the community a chance to come out. And you saw that energy; you saw how engaged the fanbase was during the course of the game.”

The environment was electric, which made for an exciting game and finish. Magic Gaming rallied from eight down midway through the fourth quarter before coming up a tad short in a one-point loss. Full Sail University students added to the overall experience by assisting with back-of-house and on-air production.

Magic Gaming chose to relocate to Lake Nona and its state-of-the-art leAD facility prior to the start of this season largely because the setting matched the team’s long-term vision and goals.

The main theme of leAD Lake Nona is innovation. Created a few years ago as part of a joint venture between leAD Sports & Health Tech Partners, a globally renowned sports and health tech investment platform, and Tavistock, an international private investment organization, the 16,000-square-foot space located within the Lake Nona Town Center enables companies to collaborate with one another to optimize performance and test out new ideas.

With innovation being one of the Magic’s core values, it’s been a seamless transition to Lake Nona for the gaming squad. In their new space, leAD Lake Nona has been able to share its expertise in sports and health technology innovation, provide deep knowledge base and intel, and enable access to its portfolio of companies whose focus is on evolving the space to directly impact athlete health and performance and fan engagement. leAD Lake Nona has also been providing the Magic with industry intelligence while serving as a venture arm that supports the development of the team’s innovation initiatives.

When first hearing about the interest the Magic had in bringing Magic Gaming to Lake Nona, leAD Sports Chief Investment Officer Thomas Rudy was ecstatic because he felt their goals and aspirations aligned with all the other companies that operate out of this facility.

“Super exciting for us for many, many reasons, but first and foremost, we are sports and health tech investors, and esports and gaming plays a huge role (in that), and we are looking forward to deploying capital into it,” he said. “Having a team in our space doesn’t just help us further understand the gaming space a little bit and bring the right atmosphere as we bring more esports and gaming companies to Lake Nona, but we also felt it could be a great partnership to test some of our companies with the gaming team as well.”

With Sunday’s event being a giant success, Magic Gaming General Manager and Head Coach Jonah Edwards hopes this is just the first of many games the team hosts in the future.

“We really value local events in general. This one was a special one for us,” Edwards said. “Compared to what other teams in the 2K League have done, I think this is probably the best one. And it was our goal to make it the best one. Really looking forward to a couple more next year, if possible.”