The rise of eSports is creating a new multibillion-dollar global industry, complete with sponsorships, merchandising—and even stadiums full of obsessive fans.
The word “sports” may conjure images of athletes barreling down a football field or burying a three-pointer, but the latest stadium-rousing athletes rarely, if ever, have to leave their chairs. Welcome to the world of professional video-gaming, or eSports. Around the world, eSports is looking more and more like any big-league sport, complete with sponsorships, merchandising, and arenas full of fans. And now, eSports is on track to become a multibillion-dollar industry.
In this episode of the Ideas Podcast, we explore how a hobby that may not seem like a “real sport” became a very real market. Jacob Wolf, an ESPN journalist, helps us understand why eSports playoffs are topping the attendance to MLB and NHL games. Then, Brian Nowak, a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, explains how that popularity launched an entire market that may one day include dedicated eSports arenas, fantasy eSports leagues, and team jerseys made of pixels. And along the way, some eSports superfans invite us to a watch-party to feel the rush of a brand new sports experience.
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