D.C. Seeks to Become eSports Capital

Washington, D.C. may soon be known for more than politics.

Kellen Beck broke news on Mashable: “For Washington, D.C., being the capital of the United States of America isn’t enough. The city is looking to become the capital of something else entirely: esports.”

“North American esports team NRG Esports is now being sponsored by D.C., the district’s official convention and sports authority, Events D.C. revealed to me in a series of interviews yesterday. Not only is the city’s sponsorship one of the first of its kind, it marks the District of Columbia’s official push into the world of professional competitive gaming.”

From a business point of view, the post outlines two key reasons why Washington, D.C. sees potential in the eSports market: Young people and visitors.

Said Events D.C. Chairman Max Brown: “We have a bunch of universities here in Washington. There are lots of younger kids who are here and are coming here every year through our universities so we think it makes a lot of sense for us as a city to plant a flag [for esports], and ultimately be the capital of esports like we’re the capital of the United States.”

In considering Washington’s 20MM visitors a year, Brown added: “Of that group, Asian visitors — Chinese in particular — are the no. 1 market for us internationally. Why is that important? People who come from overseas to Washington spend more money because they stay longer. So what we want to is get our brand — as a city and as Events D.C. — out into the country and across the globe in various ways. And this way, sponsoring NRG and being a part of their platform in terms of content, jerseys, other platforms for them to publicize our brand, makes a tremendous amount of sense.”

Polygon notes: “NRG Esports was founded in 2015 and has a number of investors who are well known as professional athletes. Co-owners include Shaquille O’Neal, the 15-time NBA All-Star; Jimmy Rollins, the shortstop for the 2008 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies; and Alex Rodriguez, formerly of the Texas Rangers.”

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