With the continual growth of E-sports, its representation and opportunity for investment has expanded to traditional sports media. There have been several cases of popular sports athletes investing in, owning, or even playing in competitive gaming teams. As it turns out, NBA forward Jonas Jerebko seems to be doing all three.
Jonas Jerebko, forward for the Detroit Pistons is not the first member of the NBA to invest in E-sports, or even the first athlete for that matter. ESPN recently did a piece on Jonas Jerebko following his unique position as the only active NBA player to invest in E-sports. Jerebko finances his team called the Renegades: paying for their rent, participating in their practices, and playing with them when he is not on the court. He too, is an avid player in competitive online games like Counter Strike: Global Offensive.
Other retired athletes like Shaquille O’Neal and Rick Fox have tried to tap into the booming industry, but have failed. Players and owners from other sports like the NFL have also invested big money into E-sports with mixed results.
Contrary to popular opinion, there is a large quantity of athletes in mainstream sports that hold a genuine interest in E-sports. Both Shaq and Rick Fox have a love for gaming that often is not discussed. Several NFL and soccer players play games like Fifa, Madden, and Call of Duty, which leads to the co-mingling of two communities often dissociated from each other. Next week we will discuss more examples of traditional sports athletes playing e-sports.