What a time to be alive. Video games are a sport now! (Take that, mom and dad.) If you don't agree, take it up with Jonas Jerebko, who just invested in the eSports team Renegades.
Jerebko isn't the first athlete to buy an eSports team. Shaquille O'Neal is in the game after buying part of a team, Rick Fox bought a League of Legends team and completely revamped the roster, and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been investing in eSports for a while now. Then there's others who want in on the game soon, like noted gamer Gordon Hayward.
Renegades is one of the best teams in the world when it comes to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Jerebko also acquired the rights to a Call of Duty team which will now operate under the Renegades title. The team was competing in the League of Legends Championship Series before being relegated after a tough season split this spring, and according to Darren Rovell of ESPN, Jerebko will try and revitalize that LoL team, while bolstering the CS:GO and CoD teams with longer contracts for players, and better working conditions:
"The Call of Duty players we were negotiating with were under contract last year and weren't getting paid for three to five months," Jerebko said. "That's not going to happen with me. You get a paycheck on time."
Jerebko's role with the National Basketball Players Association should give him a good understanding of how to function as a team owner, and it seems that his players are excited to get to know their new chief.
Jerebko is one of the early adopters of eSports, and he definitely won't be the last.
Topher Lane is on Twitter, @Topher_L. Photo credit: Mark L Baer/USA TODAY Sports
Topher Lane 9/04/2016 08:00:00 AM Tweet Edit