There’s no stopping the growth of business interest in esports. Last weekend, actor Michael B. Jordan and Los Angeles Rams player Todd Gurley faced off against each other at the Los Angeles Call of Duty League homestand event, causing a stir in the gaming community and beyond. What exactly is motivating their involvement?
Personal investment: Forbes got to the bottom of the question in a feature on Jordan and Gurley’s CoD showmatch. According to Gurley, he stays competitively-minded by playing the game in his off time. Jordan also indicated that gaming is a part of his downtime, showing how esports has reached the heart of Hollywood. For both, getting involved in the development of the industry is an extension of personal investment and time.
Jordan’s esports involvement comes via Andbox, which owns the Call of Duty League’s New York Subliners and Overwatch League’s New York Excelsior. Interestingly, one of the founders is COO of the New York Mets as well. As Jordan said in his Forbes feature, “We had a lot of similar ambitions in the gaming space, and we decided to team up and form a partnership. To be a part of a Call of Duty League team? Man, it was a dream come true.”
In the case of Jordan’s specific investment, no details are available except that he owns “a piece” of the Subliners. Gurley is still looking for a place to call his esports home. Until now, he has a track record of investing in companies he personally uses such as Beyond Meat, TopGolf, and startup app Hungry.
It’s all about growth: Any companies looking to attract someone like Gurley or Jordan would benefit from their enthusiasm. As Jordan said to Forbes, his interest lies in growth: “How do you take this one kernel of an idea and how do you grow it, how do you scale things up? Those are things that I’ve always been really excited about.”
The industry should definitely be excited for the future of investments from high caliber profiles in sports and entertainment. The future looks bright for esports.