With an estimated yearly revenue of nearly $1 billion and a projected global audience of 303 million by 2019, eSports is growing at an astounding rate. Even superstar DJ Steve Aoki wants a piece of the pie. He calls his recent acquisition of team Rogue—a Las Vegas-based Overwatch and Counter-Strike organization—his latest “pet project.”
Though it may be difficult for eSports outsiders to understand how millions enthusiastically pay to watch other people play video games, the massive viewership numbers and growing worldwide momentum don’t lie. Major broadcasters such as ESPN, BBC, Fox Sports and Turner all either host their own leagues or broadcast eSports events, and Aoki is excited about getting “into bed with all the gamers.”
This past weekend, I caught up with the EDM icon at Long Beach, California’s ComplexCon after he joined a “Business of eSports” panel alongside industry vets such as a Tobias Sherman, Monte Cristo, Jace Hall and Imari Oliver.
“If I wake up in 100 years, more likely than not, my consciousness—or whatever you want to call it—will be uploaded into a different body. I could come out and if I don’t like it, I can just shut myself off.”
Aoki admitted to being “a gamer since [he] was a little kid,” but arrived at a crossroads once he got involved with Twitch, the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers.
Aoki said was DJing at Club Pacha in Ibiza when he was asked to host the first music-related, non-gaming livestream on Twitch. After a successful initial test, he decided to get more involved in gaming and live-streaming.
So what’s next for the new team owner and tech aficionado? Well, apparently not only is cryogenically freezing himself on the agenda, but possibly becoming an avatar too. Read on for the highlights of our chat.