Jeremy Lin, A name most people will associate with the Brooklyn Nets, The NBA and a great jump shot isn’t a name you would expect to be hearing on the Dota2 scene, well it turns out Jeremy Lin is a big Dota2 fan and has numerous appearances at major Valve tournaments all be it not actually competing, (but hey, we don’t see Leonardo De’Caprio Courtside warming up to jump in a game.) Jeremey Lin isn’t the only NBA player that enjoys eSports.
Jonas Jerebko who plays for the Boston Celtics, recently bought the eSports organization ‘Renegades’ which has suffered major brand damaging situations over the years, most famously having two owners that have been banned from the LCS (Major League Of Legends tournament). Jonas seems to be committed to his new investment while still playing full time in the NBA, brand changes have been happening already, renaming the organization ‘Detroit Renegades’ and also picking up a new Call Of Duty team to compete at ‘CoD XP’ this upcoming week.
The more eSports spreads like this the more we will see these kinds of deals happen more often, NBA, NHL, NFL etc funded eSports teams will be a common practice, I mean why would you not have a team of players competing for millions of dollars while representing your brand. The real question is what will happen when the scene gets inevitably over saturated? This is a situation that will have very different outcomes depending on how the situation is handled.
On one hand the eSport’s governing body could set regulations and divide teams into divisions, similar to the sporting format descending from the Premier League to Div 1, by doing this it gives the scene legitimate means to act as an individual sport while giving players and actual goal to work towards and achieve rather than playing in pick up tournaments to earn a living wage (which may not be realistic at all times). On the other hand it may go the way of ‘Trend’ and owning your own eSports team/organization will become the new ‘cool’ thing to do until the next trend comes around washing away the hopes and dreams of potential young aspiring players. I know what hand I want dealt.