In a series of interviews with Mashable, Events D.C. Chairman Max Brown announced that NRG Esports is officially sponsored by the district’s convention and sports authority.
Founded by Sacramento Kings co-owners Andy Miller and Mark Mastrov, NRG Esports has competing teams in games such as Overwatch, CS:GO, Hearthstone, and Super Smash Bros. In addition, famous athletes such as Shaquille O’Neal, Alex Rodriguez, and Jimmy Rollins are known investors of NRG Esports. The sponsorship will include Washington D.C. logos appearing on NRG team jerseys and on the live streams of its players, as well as esports training bootcamps to be held in D.C.
Furthermore, D.C. plans to construct a new arena that will be the home of WNBA team the Washington Mystics, but will also be built to hold esports events as well. The new arena is scheduled to be completed within the next few years.
“A $65 million 4,200-seat, state-of-the-art arena… [It will] come online in late-2018, early-2019. Fully tailored and wired for esports.”
— Max Brown, Events D.C. Chairman
That being said, the sponsorship does not necessarily mean the city of Washington D.C. is specifically tied to NRG. Rather, NRG will be affiliated with the city because it is sponsored by the district’s convention and sports authority. This is an important distinction to note because the Overwatch League, which is scheduled to launch later this year, will see teams represent certain cities. In this case, there is potential for NRG Esports to represent Washington D.C. and become “DC NRG” if they manage to secure a slot in the future, but nothing of the sort has been established yet.
It seems that Events D.C.’s sponsorship of NRG Esports is more of an early exploration into esports by the nation’s capital rather than a full commitment. Regardless, the new sponsorship by Events D.C. will hopefully encourage other entities outside of esports to join in and invest in the future of esports as well.