Esports is having a big league moment. Professional video gaming is drawing investment dollars from some of the biggest names in traditional sports, like the National Basketball Association and baseball’s New York Yankees. Game developers are also increasingly focusing on the sports side of their business. Activision Blizzard, for example, said its Overwatch League was a big source of growth in its recent record quarter.
But despite its millions of fans worldwide, esports is controlled by a small and exclusive group of people. We are highlighting nine of those people who are doing deals and running the teams, leagues and videogame companies at the center of the action. Each brings a different background and perspective, but all are shaping different parts of a growing industry. We caught up with what they and their companies are doing now and gathered perspectives on where the industry is at—and what bugs still need to be ironed out.