Walt Wang ’13, a senior executive for the Los Angeles-based Team SoloMid (TSM) Gaming, spoke about his experiences in the professional Esports industry at a joint middle and upper school HW Venture event Nov. 1.
Wang first described the differences between traditional sports and Esports, as well as the latter’s rise within the modern economy. Specifically, Wang discussed the gaming ecosystem and its individual components of platforms, players and owners.
“Does anyone own the game of football?” Wang said. “Does someone own basketball? Not really, but in the gaming industry, someone actually owns the game. Something that’s different about our industry is that there are people that actually own the game, and really, they hold the power over who plays their game. If the owners of the game prohibit you from playing, what can you do? Not much.”
Popular Games and Team Dynamics
In addition, Wang discussed interactions between Esports organizations and large game corporations, which own video games such as Fortnite, League of Legends and Apex Legends.
Afterward, Wang explained Esports companies’ methods for generating revenue and subsequently investing that money. The main factors that an Esports company considers before participating in certain tournaments include viewership, brand sponsorship and the game owners’ economic policies.
“Some publishers are very team-friendly, like Riot Games, so they help by giving a cut to the team, since being more team-friendly means they make more partners,” Wang said. “Some publishers don’t really care about the teams, they don’t care about the Esports factor, and so they don’t really help the teams grow or provide financial aid.”
To conclude his presentation, Wang answered questions from the audience.
“Personally, I have never heard about that industry before,” Sophia Rascoff ’23 said. “[Wang]’s presentation about Esports gave us a look into the economics and logistics behind Esports which I’ve never considered before.”