Former NBA star Rick Fox has a personal connection to eSports. While playing for the Lakers, he and his son connected from across the country by playing games like World of Warcraft and League of Legends. Fox’s interest in the growing industry grew from there and he eventually ended up starting Echo Fox, a venture that has purchased and backed multiple eSports teams in League of Legends and Counter Strike.
Fox clearly sees a bright future in eSports and when he was recently stopped by TMZ outside of LAX, he shared a bold proclamation about what’s ahead. When asked where he thinks eSports ranks in the world of North American professional leagues.
“It’s in that conversation now, it’s just fifth right now. We’re in fifth place, it’s coming…In two years, it’ll be on par with the NHL.”
That’s certainly going to be a topic of discussion, especially amongst NHL fans. Whether or not it’s true, eSports certainly are starting to bring in big money. The highest earning eSports team made $9 million in 2015.
Meanwhile, The League of Legends World Championship final was watched by over 36 million people. The NHL Stanley Cup Finals reached roughly 38 million viewers and Game Six was the biggest NHL audience that NBC has ever gotten. So don’t expect hockey to lay down just yet.