For my semester project I will be focusing on the concept of competitive electronic gaming, or eSports, namely the meteoric rise of the culture surrounding the phenomenon as well as the future prospects for the concept both as an economic and as a cultural force. The competitive video gaming scene has been present for some years, even I personally recall watching the finals to a major tournament being live-streamed over popular streaming website Twitch in 2014 and immediately being hooked, but in the most recent years both the following and the foundation have grown exponentially. For starters the respective leagues have been garnering a great deal of respect in recent years, with ESPN televising and re-televising finals to major tournaments, and the establishment of popular show E-League, a program dedicated to following professional players and their major tournaments.
Additionally, powerful names in sports have been catching on and more importantly investing great deals of money into new leagues like The Overwatch League, a traditionally city-based eSports league surrounding the popular title Overwatch released by Blizzard Entertainment in 2016. These names include Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, and Stan Kroenke, owner of the LA Rams, who own the Boston Uprising and the L.A. Gladiator teams respectively. With team slots going for $20 million the first season and $30-$60 million for the rapidly approaching second season it’s easy to see the monetary potential of this developing market. As of now the Overwatch League has 12 teams from London to Shanghai, with another 8 franchises signing on for season 2, including Atlanta, it’s easy to get excited for the future.