As the eSports industry continues to grow, more sponsors begin to flock to sponsor teams. Next on the docket: The capitol of the United States.
The City of Washington D.C. has sponsored upstart eSports team NRG, who fields players in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Super Smash Bros., For Honor, and more. The team is owned by Sacramento Kings ownders Andy Miller and Mark Mastrov, and has big-name investors like Shaquille O'Neal and Alex Rodriguez.
The move is part of the City's new campaign to re-center itself as a hub for a more current, college-aged generation, and sees eSports as a great way to capitalize on it. "This is just another prong in our strategic approach to continue to make D.C. a great place to live and work and play," Chairman of Events D.C. Max Brown said. The sponsorship is only part of its efforts; it also plans to build a new arena for both sports and eSports events, which the city plans to open in late 2018 or early 2019.
With the 76ers picking up an eSports and Team Liquid signing to traditional sports owners, this move is part of a larger trend of old money getting into eSports. I wonder what the local, politics-heavy populace thinks of D.C. becoming an eSports hub, though…