Esports, The Future of Professional Sports

Two major professional sports teams just announced significant developments in the esports industry. GameStop will be partnering with Complexity Gaming to open the GameStop Performance Center in Frisco, Texas. Meanwhile, Comcast Spectacor plans to construct a $50 million video gaming arena in South Philadelphia. These are two significant announcements that have implications in professional sports as well, demonstrating the impact esports has outside of the online gaming world.

Complexity Gaming is owned in part by the Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones. The performance center will even share a location with the NFL team. This 11,000 square foot venue will be designed to help amateurs with their skills in esports and allow gamers to network with each other, according to Engadget. The center will also be Complexity Gaming’s new headquarters and home to a public gaming area where sponsors and fans can gather to play games and connect with each other over the world of esports. GameStop also plans to teach players skills to improve their performance in popular titles like Fortnite and Call of Duty in what will be known as gaming clinics. Tournaments also will be held inside the venue to encourage fans to participate in amateur tournaments throughout the course of the year.

In Philadelphia, Comcast Spectacor, owner of the NHL team the Philadelphia Flyers, announced its plan to construct the first purpose-built esports stadium in the United States, according to Business Wire. The stadium will not only intend to be a hub for esports on the East Coast, but is planned to be the new home for Philadelphia Fusion, an esports team also owned by Comcast Spectacor. This will be the first esports team in the Overwatch League to announce the construction of a home arena, according to The Daily Pennsylvanian.

In Asia, there are numerous venues dedicated to esports and in the 2022 Asian Games, esports will become a medal sport. In the United States, esports is becoming a draw for colleges with 200 colleges offering scholarships for players to attend their university and participate in their college leagues, according to Wired. Not to mention, ABC just broadcasted the Overwatch League’s Stage 1 final on a Saturday afternoon. This was a huge step for the industry as ABC is one of the country’s largest networks and will allow for esports awareness to further and broaden its audience.

Esports is continuing its growth within the United States, and the world for that matter. According to The Washington Post, global revenues for the industry have reached nearly $906 million just last year, growing 38.2 percent from the year prior. It’s interesting to see that professional sports are starting to buy into this new idea of sports. The spike in esports investments by traditional professional sports teams makes sense. Given the enormous, untapped potential to bring in massive sponsorships, and the opportunity to develop fan culture much like what we see for pro sports today. It wouldn’t be a surprise if more professional teams started partnerships or sponsorships for their own esports “home teams”. Who knows, maybe esports will become the future of professional sports leagues, or even just an official member of pro sports.

If you’re involved in the world of esports or are an esports professional yourself and need legal counsel from those who understand the ins and outs of the industry, get in contact with RM Warner Law. There, you will find experts in the field of esports, live-streaming and internet law who know exactly how to help. Visit www.RMWarnerLaw.com today for more information on esports law.

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