Sports and entertainment talent agency WME | IMG just made a bet on eSports — competitions between professional video game players. The company bought Global eSports Management, which it calls “an international full-service eSports talent agency that manages clients across the professional gaming industry.” The firm, founded in 2003, develops sponsorship and marketing for players, commentators, and events.
eSports are particularly popular in South Korea, and are attracting fans elsewhere as well. Some 32 million people watched the 2013 League of Legends World Championship on Twitch.tv. The companies say that exceeded the audiences for Game 7 of the NBA Finals and the BCS National Championship.
G.E.M. Co-Founders Tobias Sherman and Min-Sik Ko “bring unparalleled industry knowledge and an entrepreneurial spirit to our world-class digital talent offering,” says WME | IMG COO Jason Lublin. “We see tremendous growth and opportunity in the eSports space and we’re excited to bring this expertise in-house.”
G.E.M. clients include commentators Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles and Robbert “Siv HD” van Eijndhoven and players MinChul “MC” Jang and Carlos “ocelote” Rodriguez.
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