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How to keep up with esports

REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
Fans cheer during final day of Stage 3 title matches of the Overwatch League at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California, U.S., May 6, 2018.…
Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Here are the resources I use to keep my finger on esports’ quickening pulse.

Media

  • ESPN Esports has published deep-dives into some of the most important stories in the esports business.
  • Journalist Rod Breslau is plugged into every corner of this industry, and even when he’s not reporting, his analysis is always interesting.
  • Ben Fischer covers the business of esports at the Sports Business Journal. He’s one of the few people covering this beat who provides an outsider, birds-eye view of the industry.
  • Nicole Carpenter, a freelance journalist, has unearthed some of the labor abuse issues in the industry.

Data

Twitch channels

  • On Riot Games’ Twitch account you can keep up with pro League of Legends as it happens. Riot also provides ESPN-style pre- and post-match analysis.
  • Overwatch League’s Twitch channel is the epicenter for Blizzard’s upstart, groundbreaking esports initiative. During the season, it hosts games every week.
  • For an up-close view of how Twitch celebrity works, tune into Ninja’s Twitch show, where he routinely amasses hundreds of thousands of viewers while playing Fortnite.
  • For a better perspective of what this industry is like if you don’t have a the same massive investment pool as some of the esports that are sponsored by game makers, tune into pro Rocket League, which is subsidized by the independent studio Psyonix. It is possible to have an esports scene without a ridiculous budget!

Influencers

  • Peng “Doublelift” Yiliang is a professional League of Legends player for Team Liquid, and one of the most popular and outspoken esports athletes on the planet. Follow him on Twitter, where he’s merciless in his smacktalk, for a closer look at how esports celebrity can be much more intimate than traditional celebrity.
  • Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag is a former Call of Duty pro whose upstart esports team, 100 Thieves, recently got a cosign from Drake. He’s quickly become one of the most influential people in esports.
  • Dominique “Sonicfox” Mclean, who in his Twitter bio calls himself “a black, queer furry,” is one of the best fighting game players in the world.
  • Retired NBA player Rick Fox is the owner of an esports franchise called Echo Fox and often uses his Twitter account to cheer his teams on.
  • Kim “Geguri” Se-yeonis is the first female player in Overwatch League, breaking the gender barriers that have plagued esports since its inception.