Introduction to eSports Organizations

eSports Academy Course 104

Pro-Players and Streamers

In the world of eSports there are both recreational players and professional players. The professional players range from YouTube and Twitch streamers to pro-players who make a living off gaming. These professional players are usually involved with an eSports organization in some way; streamers might be sponsored by an organization, while pro-players join organizations through contracts and can be traded to other organizations.

Streamers usually just have the organization logo on merchandise or in videos. Pro-players also have the logo on merchandise and videos. However, professional teams have a more complex structure; teams have players who play on stages and receive the fame and glory. But behind the scenes are their coaches and managers who take care of the more logistical aspects of a team. Even farther up the chain are managers and directors for different divisions within the organization, with the CEO at the top, like any business.

Tournaments and Betting

Some of the most well-known eSports organizations in the US include TSM (Team SoloMid), Cloud9, and Team Liquid. These organizations have teams for many different eSports such as League of Legends, Super Smash Bros., and Overwatch. Competitions and tournaments for these games can occur in many different states and countries, and thus draw in a large and diverse audience. Venues for these tournaments typically have seating for a large audience along with HD screens and sound systems for optimum viewing. While the game is being live streamed, there are also live commentators who narrate for viewers.

Credit: @TeamLiquidLOL

For the pro-players, tournaments usually have a hefty money prize pool that the winning team takes home. Along with the prize money, the organizations usually pay the players a set salary according to their contracts. Sponsored streamers usually have travel fees and living expenses covered by their organization for streaming events or bootcamps. Besides salaries and travel stipends, these organizations can also help create merchandise for fans to buy. The sponsoring organization’s logo is always present on the merchandise to further promote their brand and expand their influence.

The various eSports organizations compete with each other to garner fans, sign the best players for different eSports, and win the most tournaments. Many fans bet on teams and organizations during different eSports events, further raising the stakes. Legal betting is slowly becoming an influential part of eSports revenue as eSports organizations and pro-players gain popularity. Stocks and shares are also a growing part of eSports earnings and value as organizations increase in value and profits. It is predicted that in 2019, eSports will generate well over $1 billion in revenue.

While there have been some betting and gambling scandals in the past, betting these days is legal and monitored. People who wish to bet are verified and checked prior to submitting any money. Betting forums and channels are also consistently monitored to ensure that there is no ‘funny-business’ going on.

Fan Interactions

Organizations often set up have meet-and-greet events. These events allow fans to meet their gaming idols and get autographs on merchandise. While this is not a profit generating event, it creates a stronger fan base which, in the long-run, is more profit generating. The team’s organization is able to inform fans of these events via social media and their webpages. Streamers often also have meet-and-greets; they spread the news through their social media and videos. Even without meet-and-greets, streamers are typically more involved with their fans through live chats on Twitch.tv. While they are streaming, streamers can read their fans’ live messages and respond.

Credit: espn.com

Locations of Organizations

Most American eSports organizations are based around Los Angeles, California. Since LA is already such a famous and populated city, it greatly benefits the eSports industry to have headquarters in such a hub. LA has many sports arenas that can easily be used to host eSports events. These arenas can house a large audience, and provide a very interactive way for fans to see their eSports idols.

A major reason why LA is ideal for eSports is the fact that it is already such a melting pot of cultures. Different areas in LA such as Arcadia, Little Tokyo and Korea Town create very distinct cultural spheres. People living in LA will inevitably travel and eat in these areas, making them more open-minded to new and different traditions and trends. This marks LA as a perfect nursing place for eSports; the people are open-minded to new forms of sports, and are more willing to give eSports a try.

Credit: espn.com

Organizations in the Future

Overall, eSports Organizations have already found a very solid foothold in the world of entertainment. eSports are fun and exciting for many people in the younger generations, and with the growth of technology, the industry is sure to grow and thrive. Given that many eSports organization headquarters are already in LA, a hub for the new and trendy, organizations will have a large fan community to work with and appeal to. As organizations grow in size and profitability, they will, without a doubt, change the eSports market and sector in the economy.

  
I am a senior at UC Berkeley with a Political Economy major. I started playing League of Legends two years ago and was instantly hooked. Since then I have also been playing other games such as Super Smash Bros, Brawl Stars, and more. Lineups allows me to share my passion for gaming with the public and increase involvement with eSports.

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