Interview: Former NBA Commissioner Discusses eSports

Former NBA Commissioner David Stern helped grow the league into the global multibillion dollar franchise it is today.

In a terrific interview with Darren Heitner in Forbes, Stern was asked about eSports:

“Heitner: It was reported that you participated in a $5 million financing round for fantasy eSports startup AlphaDraft. What do you particularly like about that company within the eSports industry?”

“Stern: It was the first one that I had been introduced to in the eSports industry. I sat with the founder – his passion, determination and his absolute certainty that eSports was upon us in a big way — a certainty that I share. This was an early starter, almost a first mover, in fantasy for eSports, so I said I’m in. I was not a significant part of the $5 million, I assure you, and they’ve been acquired by FanDuel.”

“Heitner: Still interested in the eSports space?”

“Stern: As everything is competing to be the next new sport — indoor lacrosse, curling, Rugby World Championship, soccer both in Latin America and North America — there is an enormous question about what will be the “new sport.” eSports is packing arenas and sometimes modified stadiums, and they have an audience that is different than traditional sports audiences and something that began in Asia and moving here. I think all of these facts are telling us something.”

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