When Traditional Sports Leagues Start to Glance Towards Esports

by Shira Amir

Varsity collegiate eSports began not so long ago (2014) but had made great strides since, by allowing gamers to apply for a scholarship based on their “athletic” success, many gamers can now hone their skills while getting a proper education in more than 120 different US colleges.

This can very well open the door to increase the average retirement age, for the top franchise this age is ~21yo. The exposure that young gamers are receiving from using all the latest technology will shape the status and stature of eSports players for the upcoming years.

An interesting instance of this phenomenon is by 10.04.18, Commissioner Adam Silver declared that the NBA decision to enter eSports renders it the ‘fourth league in our family.’ Since then the NBA 2K game is used to build a league that blends aspects from basketball (like Franchising, Merchandise, and Advertising) and from eSports (Rules, Roles and Ethics). First-Round draft picks are paid a base salary of 35,000$ and can sign individual endorsement deals to extend their income and it doesn’t stop there — housing, medical, food, and transport are subsidized by the league. This is the first occurrence when a structured sports league decides to expand to the digital competition realm — and by direct meaning, the potential of eSports league is now greater than ever and by combining realistic games with their real-life inspiration (basketball in our case) traditional leagues could open themselves to a vast market which stands untapped.

With all that we mentioned we cannot avoid events like Tfue vs. FaZe Clan, let’s recap what

happened — Turner “Tfue” Tenney was recruited to FaZe Clan (a formidable organization that represents a number of eSports players) on the 30th, April 2018 after that his hrs watched and number of subscribers skyrocketed to a state that Tfue accumulated more than $522K in prize money, but all was not well at wonderland.. mainly, the contract Tfue signed with FaZe stated that they are entitled to 80% of revenue from branded videos, 50% of the touring fees and the option to claim 80% from all new deals Tfue get, in addition to that FaZe maintain the power to veto certain promotions that they deem as a “conflict of interest” with their brand. Now, Tfue backed with his layers try to battle this “tyrannical” contract. This lawsuit represents a lot of the wrongdoing done to prominent players who wish to gain commercial success, some might say that it is a criminal and abusive behavior against players that by large lack any business or legal knowledge. Tfue’s lawyers used the argument that Tfue is more an artist then athlete and by that could leverage the lawsuit because of the fact that FaZe isn’t licensed to dictate employment opportunities for an artist.

At last, we see the entrance of professional gaming to the mainstream crowd; this entrance is promising both commercially and as an alternative lifestyle to young people that excel in gaming. Like all other industries that spontaneously emerged, we see that this industry is also weak to exploitations and it will be a long time until laws are made to protect these new athletes and until then we recommend keeping a watchful eye to this developing world.

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