Jason Sugarman Anticipates National Team Issues in E-Sports

Soon after winning the “Super Bowl” of e-sports several weeks ago, Team Liquid, Jason Sugarman’s choice e-sports team, has run into some trouble. The Team quite recently had to replace a player, Peter “Stanislaw” Jarguz, with the newcomer Lucas “steel” Lopes. The replacement was unanticipated but stemmed from an internal dispute of how things should be run. These sorts of disputes are common among gamers but perhaps have not always been as well-known. After being ousted from Team Liquid, Lopes was approached by gaming media for his account, just like in a conventional game.

The ouster of Lopes, though not unusual, does speak to the bigger problem facing the e-sports industry—the formation of national teams. Devout gamers have been quite good at putting together teams that win big and raising awareness on e-sporting. Consider, for example, the massively successful rAge event this year, arranged by Kwese and VS Gaming. While these events are important, it’s no secret that e-sports have struggled to form national teams. For dedicated e-sports investors like Jason Sugarman, this is somewhat a disappointment.

Why National Teams are Important for E-Sports

E-sports are largely limited to local events at the moment. Usually, a group of people who may live close to each other puts together a team to attend events nearby. National teams, on the other hand, have the potential to uplift these local teams into the international arena. It’s not so different playing soccer on your street and playing at an international stadium. Players could go toe to toe with not just the best in the server, but the best in the world. E-sports can finally become a serious gaming event with national teams.

Having national teams could also boost the franchising potential of various e-sports teams. It would not be much different from having a team like LAFC, Manchester United, or the Red Sox. Who knows, maybe in the future e-sports national teams might even play at the Olympics.

Why Gamers have Trouble Putting Together National Teams

The issue is multifold. Various e-sports teams, including Team Liquid, win huge prizes and constantly demonstrate that e-sports is worth the bother. However, the general perception of the sector is still subject to various stereotypes. The average non-gamer does not take e-sports seriously and does not know that virtual games could be as professional as conventional games like soccer or football. As a result, e-sports teams may lack the support they should get from authorities responsible for forming national teams.

Some gamers are also not entirely comfortable with forming national teams. On the virtual plane, just about anyone can get together to play a game. Locations and boundaries usually blur when it comes to video games. As long as there’s an internet connection, players can get together regardless of whether they are located in America or China. With national teams, the industry risks politicization of the fun, similar to how athletics can get politicized by events like the Olympics.

Future Expectations

Regardless of what one person thinks about national teams, playing at the national level can inarguably raise the standing of e-sports. The real question is whether teams would ever get there.

It is not impossible that, as young e-sports lovers get older, the games would eventually become national.

Restaurant Investing 101

It’s easy to sit at a charming restaurant, eat a delicious meal, and then imagine owning the place. Investing in restaurants sounds easy enough to amateur investors. But experienced investors like Jason Sugarman, who is a private equity specialist, cautions against rushing into a restaurant investment, no matter how great it might sound. Mr. Sugarman’s vast investment portfolio includes a number of restaurants that thrive in L.A. Here’s his advice for investing in a restaurant:

Invest Only if You Like It

Mr. Sugarman’s main advice for aspiring restaurant investors is to invest in something you like eating. He has a stake in a grass-fed hamburger restaurant and a chain of BBQ restaurants. Mr. Sugarman invested in these after trying out the menu for himself. If you don’t like what you eat at the restaurant, then assume that others like you won’t either. Therefore, choose a restaurant to invest in only after you try a meal or two there for yourself.

Location is Everything

Like real estate, location is crucial for restaurant investments. A profit-making restaurant will be located in an urban center where it’s easy for people to come and go. Mr. Sugarman’s own restaurant investments are located in Orange Country and downtown L.A. Both are vibrant, metropolitan locations with plenty of tourists and locals looking for a place to enjoy a meal. No matter how good the menu is or how celebrated the chef is, no one will visit a restaurant if it’s located far away. Therefore, pay attention to the location of the restaurant to make sure that the area is where people usually go to find dining out options.

Never be the Lead Investor

It’s highly advisable not to be the lead investor in a restaurant brand or a chain, especially in the beginning. It’s recommended to own a stake or be part of a group of investors to mitigate risk. In the U.S., restaurants go out of businesses often just like tech startups. Therefore, be on the cautious side and never take on a restaurant investment risk alone.

Research the Chefs

The style, tone, and the tastes of restaurants are often decided by the head chef. Investors must know how the chefs are before buying stakes at any restaurant. It’s best to invest in restaurants where the lead chef is experienced, educated, and has a string of successes in his or her professional career. The chef must absolutely have great management skills. It’s often down to the management when it comes to making a profit out of restaurants. Your restaurant investment is more likely to be a success if the chef is celebrated for both culinary and management skills.

Mr. Sugarman’s main advice for restaurant investors is to be prepared for risks. The risks will be present regardless of how big the restaurant is. Even small restaurants with moderate profits incur risks as big as what brand-name restaurants sometimes experience. Therefore, preparation is key. Once you have done your research, it won’t be difficult to make a great profit out of the investment.

Jason Sugarman Attends Bel-Air End of Summer BBQ

Last week was the end-of-summer barbecue extravaganza at The Bel-Air Hotel.  Jason Sugarman enjoyed the food and world-renowned chefs.  Master Chef Wolfgang Puck was joined by returning chefs Francis Mallmann (Los Fuegos, Miami, Florida), Nancy Silverton (Mozza Restaurant Group, Los Angeles, CA) and Eric Werner (Hartwood, Tulum), and welcomed newcomer Dave Pynt (Burnt Ends, Singapore). It was the ultimate barbecue party in Los Angeles this month.

It was a collaborative culinary event with guests dining at communal tables amidst lush hotel grounds and colorful gardens. The dinner included selected wine pairings from local California wineries.

Jason Sugarman Talks about What He Loves Best

Jason Sugarman, the veteran private equity investor, is ready to talk about what he loves best after his family: sports. The financier has made quite a name for himself investing in professional sports teams, including Los Angeles Football Club, and Oklahoma City Dodgers. Mr. Sugarman also has investments in the e-sports teams Team Liquid, Marucci, and DSG Golf. He is also an active investor in L.A’s ever thriving restaurant scene as well.

Investing in LA Football Club with Celebrities

Mr. Sugarman is an investor in the Los Angeles Football Club, along with some other 26 people including former major athletes such as Magic Johnson, Nomar Garciaparra, and Mia Hamm. Both sports and movie star names are nothing new to the Club’s ownership team. Early last year, superstar comedian Will Ferrell became a part owner of the team. The Club’s ownership team is estimated to have a net worth over $4.5 billion.

Plans are already underway for the Club to have its own stadium at the Exposition Park, right nearby where the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will soon be. The club is dropping a whopping sum of $350 million for its future home. The stadium will have an open-air design and high-end NFL-style amenities like private suites and a rooftop bar, according to Los Angeles magazine.

The L.A. Football Club is scheduled to debut in 2018 season with an in-house trained team. Right now, fans can get a peek at the Club’s activities on its official website.

Investing in Innovative Restaurants in L.A.

Mr. Sugarman, an alumnus of Stanford University, is a dedicated foodie who has invested in some of the best restaurants in L.A., including a chain of local BBQ restaurants in Orange County, The Viper Room, El Dorado, The Six at Studio City, new grass fed hamburger restaurant. The Viper Room is a legacy restaurant in the city frequented by A-list celebrities like Johnny Depp. It was once a favorite diner of Johnny Cash.

Mr. Sugarman loves classic American dishes, and he invests in restaurants that serve mostly American cuisine. It’s not always easy in L.A., where tastes are for gluten-free, low-calorie, vegan, and mostly sugar-free dishes. The foodie scene in the city has been reinventing itself to match the tastes of high-flying millennials as well as traditionalists always in the search for the perfect pork chop. Mr. Sugarman, himself a fan of both fusion and classic style dishes, prefers to invest in restaurants that focus on quality and innovation with an eye out for improving social engagement.

What’s Next for Jason Sugarman?

Mr. Sugarman is expected to continue with his significant sports investments in the future. He will be heavily invested in the debut of the L.A. Football Club, which has ambitious plans for the future. He will continue his involvement in the ever rising e-sports sector as well. As a restaurateur investor, he hopes to pour his money into both new and old establishments that embody the foodie spirit of the city. Mr. Sugarman would mainly be invested in his sports portfolio that he hopes to expand in the coming years.

Jason Sugarman has High Hopes for LAFC

Jason Sugarman, the noted private equity financier, has a new obsession on his portfolio—the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC). The well-known sports fan is focusing all his efforts on the LAFC’s public debut scheduled to be during the 2018 soccer season. Mr. Sugarman is a prolific sports investor who has stakes in the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Golden State Warriors, and the Oakland Raiders. He’s been involved in fantasy sports as well. However, LAFC just might be his most ambitious sports investment yet.

What is the LAFC?

The Los Angeles Football Club is the newest Major League Soccer team in crowded L.A. The team is co-owned by about 27 people, including Sugarman. The LAFC’s star studded investment team includes former major athletes like Nomar Garciaparra, Mia Hamm, and Magic Johnson, as well as Hollywood stars like Will Ferrell. LAFC’s superstar ownership team is estimated to be worth about $4.5 billion.

The team is being overseen by John Thorrington, the South African born executive vice president of soccer operations for LAFC. Thorrington was trained as a young player at the famous Manchester United academy and played in Europe for about eight years. He has been in charge of LAFC’s technical aspects since 2015.

LAFC’s investors like Mr. Sugarman intend the team to rise to the top of the second largest sports market in America. The team plans to debut for the MLS’ 23rd team in 2018, and it will do so with a bang. The team is building an out of this world stadium in L.A.’s Exposition Park, right next to the Coliseum.

The Banc of California Stadium

LAFC’s flagship stadium, called the Banc of California Stadium, will be located close to major attractions like the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Exposition Park. The Club is dropping over $350 million on the stadium to make it a state-of-the-art attraction for sports fans. The building work is still underway. The stadium will feature an open-air design. The developers are planning hip amenities that rival NFL’s, like rooftop bars, and luxurious private suites.

LAFC is also renovating the old Cal State L.A. stadium as a training complex. The Club has spent $30 million on renovations, which is the third largest investment in Major League soccer history for a training facility. Only Real Salt Lake and Atlanta United teams have invested more in training complexes. LAFC is heavily renovating and building new units to make the training complex suitable for modern use.

LAFC Teams

As the Club is yet to debut, there are no professional teams associated with the franchise. However, LAFC has a fully funded academy with U-12 USSDA accreditation. Currently, the Academy is training 26 young players who will debut in 2018. The LAFC is currently in the process of adding new young players to U12, U13, and U14 teams.

Mr. Sugarman firmly believes that the LAFC’s planned 2018 debut will be nothing short of spectacular. The Club’s stadium is already attracting attention for its grand scale if nothing else. It seems that the LAFC has a bright future ahead.

Jason Sugarman Expands His Investments in the L.A. Restaurant Scene

As a longtime Los Angeles native, Jason Sugarman, the veteran investor, financier, and an owner of the Los Angeles Football Club, thinks there’s no other city with a better restaurant scene (no, not New York City). Mr. Sugarman is known for his varied sports investment portfolio, which includes football and soccer teams, as well as several e-sports teams. Only a few know that he has always had his eye on L.A.’s food scene as well.

The Ever Changing L.A. Food Scene

It’s hard to argue that L.A. is one of the top cities in North America for food. L.A. rivals even New York in the sheer number of restaurants, cafes, and eateries around. L.A. prides itself as an early city, so there is a number of “breakfastaurants” as well. What makes L.A.’s food scene really unique is “relentless reinvention,” according to The New York Times.

The city is never out of chefs looking for cheap space to set up a new joint. The city has a number of neighborhoods—West Hollywood, Venice, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica—that has established restaurants that thrive serving wealthy clientele. But the city is full of people from almost all income levels that don’t mind driving 30 minutes in search of a cool new place to eat. L.A.’s ever expanding multicultural community has also contributed a wonderful variety available in choices. It’s easy to find cuisine from just about anywhere in the world in L.A.

Investing in Americana Cuisine

Like the city itself, Mr. Sugarman’s restaurant investments in L.A. are varied. However, he has specifically invested in restaurants offering his favorite cuisine: Americana. Mr. Sugarman has investments new grass fed hamburger restaurant and The Six – Studio City in town. These eateries are known for their delicious and decadent burgers, pulled pork, and indulgent desserts like banana cream pie. These restaurants are also two of the most affordable places to eat that serve high-quality food. Most Los Angeles residents may be crazy about healthy eating, but no one can resist a good burger once in a while.

Mr. Sugarman also has a stake in a chain of local BBQ restaurants in Orange County; a restaurant that services juicy and tender barbecue meats with mouthwatering sweet potato fries. The Beach Pit is beloved for the atmospheric setting and dishes that are simply filling.  Mr. Sugarman has also invested in some of L.A.’s best-known legacy restaurants, including The Viper Room on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. It was once co-owned by Johnny Depp, who still frequents the place. The Viper Room has been the subject of rumors, controversy, and film plots. These days it’s best known for music and great food.

Being the sports enthusiast that he is, Mr. Sugarman has heavily invested in El Dorado, an easygoing bar, and restaurant that is known as a great place to hang out in the city. El Dorado often hosts live music events that are quite popular among the regulars.

Mr. Sugarman is definitely planning to expand his restaurant investments in the city. The restaurant sector in L.A. is thriving and won’t be likely to cease thriving anytime soon.