Esports have been a drastically growing trend for the last decade of gaming culture. Small events such as the fighting game tournament, Evolution, has moved onto giant sports arenas full of fans of competitive games such as Street Fighter 5. Professional sports athletes such as former Los Angeles Laker Rick Fox have become esports franchise owners proving that perhaps Esports is a viable industry to invest money. A new step towards the legitimization of the digital sports craze has been placed today with an announcement from the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. According to ESPN Staff writer Jacob Wolf, the Cavaliers have officially obtained a slot for League of Legend’s Championship Series.
For those unfamiliar with the game, League of Legends is a MOBA (Massive Online Battle Arena), a game in which two teams face off against each other in matches lasting at least an hour. The game focuses on teamwork, strategies revolving risk and reward, and more. League of Legends in particular is one of the most popular games on the planet. Thousands of young viewers watch the game on Twitch and with the growing live stream competitive scene it seems sports brands are jumping on board before serious viewership competition starts to eat away traditional sports. With that in mind the Cavaliers have started to actively recruit talent for their fresh new team.
While many may dismiss these digital games as anything but competition for regular sports entertainment, the NBA along with the MLB are already staking their positions in the scene. Not only have the Cavaliers joined the pit, the Golden State Warriors have also entered the fray. According to USA Today a team owned by Golden State Warrior Joe Lacob will be making their first appearance this year in the North American LCS. That team will be competing against The Cavaliers and a new reinvigorated Echo Fox which is now being backed by the New York Yankees.