It’s not just NBA players weighing in and showing their love for competitive videogames anymore.
After Jeremy Lin and Gordon Hayward both expressed their love for competitive videogames, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban defended eSports from some of the negative stereotypes that clung on to the image of gamers.
Cuban participated in the League of Legends showmatch at the Intel Extreme Masters San Jose. Before his match, Cuban was asked to respond to some disparaging remarks made by Colin Cowherd, a former ESPN sports reporter currently with Fox Sports, who called gamers “nerds” and referred to them as basement-dwellers on his shows.
“I love Colin [Cowherd] but he’s an idiot. I’m a noob. I’m still getting into it, but I love it. It’s like playing five-dimensional chess against the world. It’s one of the smartest games I’ve ever played. You’ve got to have dexterity, and you’ve got to be quick. This is a real sport, and people are going to figure it out really, really quick.”
Asked whether he will buy into eSports by investing into a team, Cuban played coy and told the crowd that, “You’re just going to have to stay tuned.”
Cuban’s showmatch was a 5 versus 5 League of Legends showdown against Intel Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich. The match was a charity event for the Cybersmile Foundation, a foundation that aims to combat cyber bullying.
While the Mavericks owner went on to take a convincing victory, the famously hot-headed sports mogul was fined for cussing during the match. Tasked to pay $15,000 for swearing on air, Cuban decided to double the amount of the fine and gave over $30,000 to the organisation.
My league of legends debut Wow pic.twitter.com/CqRNOMbB5x
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) November 21, 2015
Earlier this year, Cuban began dipping his toes into eSports as he was part of an investment team who provided Series A funding to eSports betting platform Unikrn. The group, Binary Capital, gave the Seattle start-up Unikrn $7 million in their first round of funding.
Banner image from @iem on twitter; video from ESL on YouTube