Ep. 26 - The Future of eSports with Rob Lee


In this installment of the Future Grind podcast host Ryan O’Shea sits down with Rob Lee, the CEO & owner of the Pittsburgh Knights. The Knights participate in the growing world of eSports, where competitors battle in virtual environments with very real stakes. These may be video games, but according to some metrics, eSports leagues already have audience numbers that surpass those of some major sports, and it’s popularity continues to grow. Investors and sponsors are clamoring to get in on the action, but this new industry is not without it’s share of controversy. They discuss making a living in virtual worlds, the impact of IP laws, the future of entertainment, virtual reality, & more. If you’d like to support this podcast with a donation or find out more about sponsorship opportunities, you can visit the Support page.

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Show Notes

  • What are eSports? [1:41]

  • The Pittsburgh Knights [2:38]

  • More popular than traditional sports? [3:30]

  • Global eSports popularity [4:53]

  • Why Pittsburgh? [8:54]

  • The purpose of eSports teams [10:41]

  • Specialization and transient games [14:08]

  • eSports leagues and tournaments [16:38]

  • The next big games [19:42]

  • Streaming, sponsorships, & eyeballs [21:33]

  • The impact of IP & copyright [23:50]

  • Rob’s story [27:11]

  • Unions in professional gaming [30:21]

  • The career of a professional gamer [33:10]

  • Ninja, Twitch, and growth [35:36]

  • Link with Entrepreneurship [38:12]

  • Virtual worlds becoming real [40:46]

  • Immersive VR and the future [44:13]

  • What’s next for eSports and the Knights? [46:11]

  • Where to find more [47:00]

Team Liquid
SK Gaming

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
Super Smash Bros. Melee
League of Legends

Ninja (Duals with Drake)
Jacob Wolf
Robert Kraft
Bridgeville, Pennsylvania
South Fayette Township School District
Shaun White
Kevin Pereira
Carnegie Mellon Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship
Ready Player One

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