At this point, we all know the huge numbers surrounding esports, but they bear repeating: In 2021, global viewership of pro tournaments topped 474 million and generated over $1 billion in revenue. Pro players in the United States alone earned a combined estimated $169 million.
It is for these reasons that I stopped telling my children to read books and now encourage them to play more video games.
It is also the reason I was so excited to speak with Greg Kim, who was recently named the head of CLG, which is one of the largest esports organizations in the world, and CLG pro League of Legends player Juan “Contractz” Garcia.
CLG has won multiple championships throughout its history, including the League of Legends Champion Series (LCS) Summer 2015 Championship at Madison Square Garden, the LCS Spring 2016 Championship at Mandalay Bay, and the Halo 2016 World Championship in Hollywood, California. As the League of Legends Lock-In Tournament kicks off, I wanted to find out what it takes to become a champion in esports (more hours of training than you can imagine), where the industry is headed (lots more money), and if the smart bet is on CLG to take the title in 2022 (yes!)