eSports, FBI, and Baseball

By Chris Kidd, Special for  USDR

Radio Host Kevin Price, and Chris Kidd, Financial Coach and Contributor on the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston), recently interviewed sports & business attorney, Roger R. Quiles, Esquire to discuss some hot issues in the sports business world. Roger talked about the emerging eSports market and the FBI investigation into the St. Louis Cardinals organization allegedly hacking Houston  Astros.

The eSports (Electronic Sports) business, or world of competitive video gaming, is an area that has been rapidly growing, and is just getting started. Roger says this is already a $194 million industry, and is expected to become a billion dollar industry by 2017. Quiles says, “Basically people form teams the same way you would a baseball team or a football team, and they take part in these tournaments and professional leagues. And they do it for profit. They also stream their games online through services like Twitch. They have sponsors the same way any other professional team does, and there’s a lot of the same legal issues that arise in this context also.” (Listen to the entire interview    here)

Kevin Price asked Quiles about how the industry is growing. Roger explained, “It’s been around in some form or another since 1998, with the development of, or the ease of access to high-speed internet, it has taken off tremendously. Last year was really a tipping point for the industry, where there was a lot more money being poured into it, and now its pretty common to see $50,000 tournaments, million dollar tournaments. Theres actually a tournament coming up, which just broke the record for the highest prize pool, which is roughly $14,000,000 right now, to be split among the top eight teams.” These teams can consist of one person, or can have four or five people, depending on the  game.

The Heroes of the Dorm Competition, a competition among colleges trying to win scholarship money, was actually broadcast on ESPN earlier this year. Chris Kidd asked Roger to talk about his work in this area. Quiles says he has worked with tournament producers, teams, and individual players, so he is on all sides of the business. He often helps with areas like contracts and sponsorship  agreements.

The interview then transitioned to baseball and the FBI investigation into the St. Louis Cardinals hacking into the servers of the Houston Astros. Roger Quiles says, “Right now the FBI is investigating the St. Louis Cardinals and the individuals involved, which is a pretty big deal, especially because this is a federal offense, so people can actually receive jail time over this.” The Houston Astros had started adopting some very advanced statistical measures for evaluating players, and the Cardinals were after that information. (Listen to the entire interview  here)

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