That’s right, you read correctly – esports, baby!
While it might seem dumb, immature, whatever, the esports industry has been blowing up for the past couple of years. There have been some great leagues and games already established, and the history of esports goes back to the early 2000s and Quake; Recently, Valve has launched competitive Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 leagues, Riot Games has the massively popular League of Legends Championship Series, and yesterday the Overwatch League was officially announced by Activision Blizzard.
You might be wondering why I am writing about video games, or why this even matters. Well, it’s frankly really fun to watch and follow, and believe it or not, it’s really competitive. Last year, the LoL World Championships sold out Madison Square Garden. This summer, the NALCS Championship of LoL will take place in Boston, and will sell out the TD Garden. This shit is POPULAR, and it’s about to get bigger.
Riot’s NALCS (LoL) is moving towards franchising, meaning possible localization and a larger influx of money into the industry. Blizzard’s Overwatch League will launch in at least seven cities globally, including Boston.
These teams aren’t small teams with a little money doing stupid video game competitions. Boston’s OWL team is owned by none other than Robert Kraft, the owner of our New England Patriots. San Francisco/Sacramento based NRG Esports is partly owned by Shaquille O’Neal. NBA forward and former Celtic Jonas Jerebko owns the Renegades. There is a LOT of money in this industry, and so, I think it can only go up.
If you want to watch, just go on twitch, you’ll probably find something. This stuff is awesome.
Written By: Bob Rice (@bobricebobrice)