Esports organization compLexity Gaming has announced a partnership with WinStar World Casino and Resort, making WinStar the exclusive casino of compLexity—a first for a U.S. esports organization.
In 2017, Jerry Jones, who is known for owning the Dallas Cowboys, was brought onto the compLexity ownership team. The compLexity/WinStar partnership echoes a September announcement naming WinStar as the official casino of the Cowboys, which was also a first partnership between a casino and an NFL team.
The partnership between compLexity and Thackerville, Oklahoma-based WinStar represents a shift in esports toward mainstreaming competitive gaming entertainment, compLexity Gaming founder and CEO Jason Lake said in a statement.
“CompLexity’s forward-thinking and innovative approach to one of the fastest growing genres of mainstream entertainment is a natural fit as we look toward remaining at the forefront of the gaming industry.”
The deal provides compLexity’s players access to WinStar amenities, such as its hotel, golf courses, and concerts. The players also will make appearances at the casino, and WinStar has the option to host biannual boot camps and “meet-and-greets” between esports players and fans.
“The high-energy and competitive nature of esports aligns with our focus on creating unique, high-energy gaming and entertainment experiences for our patrons,” WinStar General Manager Jack Parkinson said. “CompLexity’s forward-thinking and innovative approach to one of the fastest growing genres of mainstream entertainment is a natural fit as we look toward remaining at the forefront of the gaming industry.”
Esports is a worldwide phenomenon with an expected global market revenue of $906 million in 2018 and increasing to $1.65 billion by 2021, per Statista.
The global audience in 2018 is expected to reach 380 million. The esports market skews toward 18- to 34-year-olds, but the demographic is becoming older with almost one third of esports viewers in the 35-54 age group. As for reach, online eports streaming platforms such as Twitch and YouTube have a larger audience base for gaming than the combined audiences of HBO, Netflix, and ESPN.
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