Dallas is getting a new sports franchise, even though its star players look more like members of a high school AV club than superstar athletes.

Team Envy is a leader in To watch, an online multiplayer video game from Blizzard Entertainment. In the game, quick-fingered players control a variety of characters in opposing teams, fighters in a sci-fi world of colorful chaos and bloodless PG-13 violence. How playing a video game escaped the realm of lounge tournaments with friends and entered the realm of multi-million dollar franchise deals remains a bit of a puzzle for those stuck with the image of the sub. -ground. Dungeons and Dragons guys pulling an Atari. But in short: a lot of people play video games, and a lot of people like to watch other people play video games. “Nerdy” is cool, video games are common, down is up, cats and dogs live together.

This is how some of the top ranked esports gamers are getting salaries high enough to make me wish I had spent even more time in college playing video games, and that’s why Kenneth Hersh and his Hersh Interactive Group bought a significant portion of Team Envy, precipitating the players’ next move from Charlotte to Dallas. The team will play in the new Overwatch League, which counts New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft among its investors and recently announced franchises in Houston and Philadelphia.

Why would a Dallas oil tanker send a bunch of controller jockeys $ 35 million? It’s possible that Hersh, the longtime Texas Rangers and satellite director of George W. Bush who now runs the former president’s center at SMU, is a hardcore gaming enthusiast, someone who spends his spare time watching. Twitch streams and flexing your fingers to work on his APM. Hersh is more likely to have a good flair for investing and esports absolutely breathes money – Goldman Sachs valued the industry at $ 500 million last year, a number that is expected to rise over the course of the next few years.

I rarely played the game Monitoring (I’m on PlayStation; come see me) and enjoyed it, but can’t say I fully understand the allure of watching esports. Am I missing something? Will rooting for Team Envy bring me the same ups, downs and moral dilemmas as supporting the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League? Is there a Monitoring movement that can match the grace of Dirk Nowitzki’s one-leg fadeaway? An esports personality as tall as Jerry Jones?

Either way, Dallas is a big city, with room for plenty of sports franchises, virtual and otherwise. And everyone loves a winner: an industry awards ceremony named Team Envy 2016’s team of the year. Where can I get a jersey?


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