“The honest answer is you don’t need these people, if you’re a fan.” “If you’re a fan, it doesn’t matter how much an organization pays for its players.” “It doesn’t matter if an organization is the Houston Rockets or the GSW.” “That doesn’t matter, but for people in the industry, it’s really important.” I haven’t checked my bank account to see if I’ve gotten paid in the past few months because I know I’ve been paid, because I work for the Houston Rockets.” “I know that when we sign a player and I commit able to pay them for the year or two years or whenever long.” “That my ownership will come through, and we will pay those players and live up to our engagement.” “That hasn’t always been the case.” “Basically our owner’s a scumbag, so we kinda peaced out.” Esports was built by grassroots communities, which have grown into a multi-million dollar industry within the past few years. However, even with this rapid influx of money, job security is still a concern for many working in esports. “It’s really hard to emphasize, just how much heartache and stress there was.”
“Trying to be able to pay our players on time because sponsors weren’t paying out.” “I had credit card debt that was racking up, that I had to rack up in order to get my players dinner or lunch.” “As opposed to being able to get them money through the door.” “Right? Those are the things that really have screwed our industry for a long time.” “The grassroots fan stuff, awesome, amazing, totally worth it.” “But at the end of the day, it’s really hard for me to advocate for these guys or kids or boys and girls. and guys that are like, “Hey I really want to get into esports,” and I’m sitting here looking at my bank account being like, “Man, this sponsor hasn’t paid me yet this person has literally stolen my money from me. This person’s not doing their application.” And those things are disappearing.” It doesn’t matter whether you’re an OG NA LCS fan who still cheers for Cloud9, TSM or CLG, or whether you’re a fan of the new challengers like Clutch Gaming, 100 Thieves or the Golden Guardians. The inclusion of the NBA teams, and other investors from the traditional sports world, is a good thing for everyone. But let’s not forget that the NBA teams and their respective sponsors gain a lot of influence and loyalty through their esports teams.
After all, they’re in this because of you. This generation is changing the way broadcasting and advertising works, simply by the way it consumes media. Sports teams and other brands have had to flip the script when it comes to reaching that audience. If you’re not watching, playing or interacting, there’s no value for the teams and sponsors that are buying into the scene. The small community that built this scene holds all the cards. It’s that grassroots community that’s changing the game you, the esports fan and has forced billion-dollar industries to stop ignoring esports and come along for the ride.