THE FASCINATING INSIDE STORY OF THE QUEST TO BUILD THE WORLD’S MOST AMBITIOUS PROFESSIONAL GAMING LEAGUE–AND THE RACE TO WIN ITS $1,000,000 PRIZE.
Welcome to the high-stakes world of esports where shit-talking teenage gamers, billionaire sports franchise owners, and celebrity entrepreneurs are all competing to understand and conquer the fast-emerging future of entertainment. The burgeoning frontier of professional gaming has moved beyond the niche corners of the internet to become a global phenomenon, upending youth viewership for the major sports leagues and opening a generational rift over the nature of “athletics.” Soon, professional video game competitions may well be as ingrained in our culture as Monday Night Football.
YOUNG GUNS: Obsession, Overwatch, and the Future of Gamingtakes readers behind the scenes of the esports boom and into the lives of the gamers and game changers leading the charge, unfurling a wry, unexpected, and often hilarious narrative about the rise of professional gaming and the business of electronic sports.
An avid gamer himself, author Austin Moorhead became fascinated by pro gaming, in particular the Overwatch League (OWL) after sports titans Robert Kraft, Stan Kroenke, and Jeff Wilpon each paid $20 million for a team. At the same time that he began investigating the inner-workings of the league, OWL launched esports into the American mainstream, inking TV deals with ABC and ESPN, selling out NBA stadiums for live competitions, and minting a new version of young pro athletes.
Embedding with two top teams in the Overwatch League, the San Francisco Shock and the London Spitfire, as they embark on the inaugural season, Moorhead pulls back the curtain on the grueling practice schedules and spartan lifestyles of the league’s most popular players. In addition to the “gamer houses” and competitions in which the pros hone their skills, Moorhead takes readers into the board room of Overwatch-developer Blizzard Entertainment, where entrepreneurs eager to capitalize on youth culture take bets on new esports franchises for tens of millions. The result is a rollicking story about the superstars of the future and the absurd collision of adolescent prodigies and high-stakes industry, an uproarious look at the future of sports and entertainment that is part Bringing Down the House, part Moneyball.