Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang may be renowned for his sharp shooting in front of goal, but it is fair to say that he knows a thing or two about video gaming as well.
The soccer star recently competed in a virtual Grand Prix event and, ahead of the race, he went into detail about how much he loves video gaming. Not only that, he offered up a tantalising suggestion that he may be about to get involved in the exciting world of eSports.
Something is cooking
Goal.com reports how Auba discussed his love of FIFA, while revealing he has played a lot of Fortnite in recent times too. However, he then went on to drop the news that he is considering the launch of an eSports team.
He explained that “something is cooking” in relation to the issue and also went on to suggest what the side’s initial core focus could turn out to be – simply stating that Rocket League is “definitely a game that I’d need to have a team for”.
While it is pure speculation, it may well be the case that Aubameyang has been inspired to consider a move into the area by some of his teammates. After all, as Goal.com adds, both Mesut Ozil and Bernd Leno are known to have taken the step and established their own teams within the professional gaming space.
An industry on the rise
Such comments are certainly intriguing and could be regarded as evidence of the level of interest that eSports is now enjoying. The industry has arguably never had a higher profile and it genuinely does seem to be on the cusp of breaking into the mainstream in a big way.
In the middle of April, games market insights organization Newzoo issued new forecasts which suggested that the global eSports market could generate revenues of $1,059.3 million this year. A bright future was also predicted, with the body stating that the figure could grow to $1,598.2 million by 2023. Looking at specific areas, the research added that team streaming revenues are expected to enjoy strong growth, with the figure set to reach $19.9 million this year, and a massive $34.4 million in three years’ time. eSports is simply in rude health at the moment, and this has led to a range of major brands getting involved in the area through sponsorship. Furthermore, the industry has inspired its own offshoot betting scene, with LegalBetting.com outlining how it is now regarded as one of the best sports to bet on, alongside more traditional types such as American Football, NBA, NHL and Nascar.
Big name interest
It is not just soccer players who are looking to establish teams or invest in the area, however. A host of big names have got involved in eSports in recent years, including stars who have made their name in many different areas.
— 100 Thieves (@100Thieves) October 23, 2018
For example, Canadian hip hop star Drake is known to have invested in 100 Thieves, a lifestyle brand and eSports organization, which was first established in 2017 by former gaming star Matthew ‘Nadeshot’ Haag. The body is also backed by another major music industry name, Scooter Braun.
NRG eSports, which boasts a roster including Apex Legends, Call of Duty, Fortnite, and Rocket League, is also known to have more than a few big-name supporters. Its investment group featured on its official site includes former basketball star Shaquille O’Neal, ex-NFL player Michael Strahan and dance music icon Tiesto. Perhaps an even more surprising name involved in the organization is Jennifer Lopez, who is listed on the site as an advisor and investor.
One to watch
Considering the high level of growth that eSports has experienced in recent years, it is not a huge surprise to see that so many big names have chosen to invest in the area. With the future clearly looking bright too, it is unlikely that Auba will be the last star to consider getting involved in the industry.
It will be absolutely fascinating to see how the area continues to grow over the next few years, as well as which celebrities may be the next to look at investing in the world. It simply cannot be denied – eSports is now an industry to watch.