Throughout the years, esports has gotten a considerable amount of popularity. In a generation where professional gaming is becoming legitimized, it is not shocking that in 2017, investors are starting to put money into the scene.
On December 18th 2015, Rick Fox, a former basketball player for the LA Lakers bought out Gravity’s NA LCS Spring 2016 spot rebranding to Echo Fox. Although the price was not officially announced, it was reported to be bought out for $1 million.
On September 26th 2016, the Philadelphia 76ers acquired the Team Dignitas brand and Apex Gaming’s LCS spot. The two organizations merged together to play unde the Dignitas brand.
I’m pretty sure that we have all heard this said before. Many people over the years have doubted that esports would ever make it as an industry. At a glance, people would think “Who would want to watch a bunch of guys play a video game?” That’s not a big surprise if you’re looking at the scene in the early years. Many have said that esports would not be able to fill up sold out stadiums in the past. Not to mention that viewership would not rise.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with esports, Esports consist of a multiplayer video game that is played at a competitive level. These games are typically played by professional gamers, people who are payed to play the game.
We will take a look an example with League of legends, one of the most played games globally. Although League of Legends is played in many different regions, we will only focus on the five major regions, North America, Europe, Korea, China and Taiwan. Among these five regions, each season is divided into two splits, spring and summer split. Throughout the season, teams compete for a chance to not only earn prize money, but also compete in international competitions such as the Mid-Season Invitational and the World Championship.
Over the past few years, the industry has seen a lot of growth. Even colleges are offering scholarships to students who play the game. Who would have thought you could get a good education and do something that you love at the same time. The uLoL Campus Series serves as a great example of the industry’s growth.
Colleges and universities are accepting Leaguee of Legends as a sport in the near future especially in the collegiate scene. Colleges such as the University of Utah are beginning to launch college sponsored varsity programs. It would not be a surprise if other colleges started to do this or other games such as Dota 2, CS:GO and StarCraft joined the collegiate scene.With sponsors such as Red Bull and Twitch TV investing money into the scene as well as the organizations or teams involved, the esports industry is getting to a point where it could become a potential franchise. Money is constantly flowing in allowing team owners to spend more money on improving infrastructure. The future for the esports industry is looking bright as we continue to see the scene grow and become legitimized as a sport.