Esports is getting increasingly popular with more and more players seeking out gaming as a professional path through streaming, leagues and competitive teams.
Here are five major organizations that might just be the future of gaming.
NBA 2K League
Brendan Donohue is the managing director of NBA 2K League, a competitive esports league centered around the game NBA 2K.
“The NBA had been looking at esports more broadly for a while,” Donohue told In The Know. “And you started to see these League of Legends events that were filling up NBA arenas and our NBA owners were like, ‘Okay, what’s going on in esports?’”
It only made sense to start a league based around the NBA’s official and massively popular basketball game NBA 2K. NBA 2K League players function as a team, they work out together, watch game tape together and play together.
“We envision having a truly global league. Esports kind of allows the world to feel smaller and I do think it’s going to be exciting to see that evolution of the 2K League over the next five years,” Donohue said.
Esports Stadium Arlington
“When it comes to having a facility that is based around technology you have to ensure that the facility itself is able to change and adapt. We’ve done a really good job of designing our space to be modular,” company president Jonathon Oudthone said.
National Esports Association
Lori Bajorek is the president of the National Esports Association (NEA), an institution that offers programs to aspiring esports athletes.
Bajorek says she has the coolest job in the world and equates what she does to a movement. NEA teaches students how to play games the way you might learn about math or science in school.
“We also work with teachers so we’re helping them learn and helping their classroom settings,” Bajorek said. “As an educator, it is your job to make sure that everybody in that room feels they have a part to play and that they are there for a reason.”
Ryan Morrison is the CEO of Evolved Talent, an agency that represents the top competitive players in esports and streamers on Twitch and YouTube. The law firm is groundbreaking because for so long gamers had no formal representation and could easily be taken advantage of.
“They started calling me ‘video game attorney.’ I got a large following from it and it built into a real legitimate law firm,” Morrison said. “Evolved quickly turned into the one-stop-shop to help them with whatever they needed. Really standing up for players and advocating for their rights when few others would.”
Ricky Gonzalez is the vice president of Content at FlyQuest, a competitive League of Legends team with an altruistic mission. The FlyQuest team is all about using its platform to address issues like climate change. Like when it tallied all of its kills and wins and planted a tree for each.
“In the beginning of esports, it was really difficult to pinpoint what the role of a team was supposed to be,” Gonzalez said. “Having just returned from the world championship as our first time in that tournament, it’s really shown our brand to the world. And the feedback has been incredible.”
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