The Business of NRG Esports: How They Built a Multi-Million Dollar Franchise

April 7, 2023

Esports, or competitive video gaming, has become a massive industry in recent years. With millions of viewers and players worldwide, it’s no surprise that many companies have jumped on the bandwagon to try and build a successful esports franchise. One such company is NRG Esports, which has managed to create a multi-million dollar business in just a few short years. In this article, we’ll take a look at how they did it.

The Founding of NRG Esports 

NRG Esports was founded in 2015 by Sacramento Kings co-owners Andy Miller and Mark Mastrov, along with esports veteran Hector Rodriguez. The goal was to create a franchise that could compete at the highest level in multiple games, including League of Legends, Overwatch, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. They quickly assembled a roster of top players and coaches and began competing in tournaments around the world.

Early Success in the Overwatch League 

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NRG Esports’ first major success came in the form of the Overwatch League, which launched in 2018. The team’s San Francisco Shock franchise quickly became one of the best in the league, winning the championship in both the inaugural season and the following year. This success helped put NRG Esports on the map and established them as a major player in the esports world.

Diversifying into Other Games 

While the Overwatch League was a major success for NRG Esports, the team didn’t want to rely on just one game for their success. They quickly expanded into other titles, including Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Rocket League. This diversification helped ensure that the team had a presence in multiple games and could continue to grow even if one game became less popular.

Partnering with Major Brands 

NRG Esports has also been successful in partnering with major brands to help grow their business. They’ve worked with companies like Gillette, Chipotle, and Mountain Dew to create unique sponsorship deals and activations that help promote both the team and the brand. These partnerships not only provide a source of revenue for NRG Esports but also help raise awareness of the team and esports as a whole.

Building a Strong Fanbase 

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One of the keys to NRG Esports’ success has been building a strong and dedicated fanbase. The team has leveraged social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram to connect with fans and keep them engaged with the team’s activities. They’ve also created unique content, such as behind-the-scenes videos and player profiles, to help fans get to know the team better. This engagement has helped create a sense of community around NRG Esports and has helped turn fans into loyal customers.

Investing in Top Talent 

NRG Esports has also been successful in investing in top talent to help grow its business. They’ve brought on experienced executives from other industries, including former NBA executive Brett Lautenbach as CEO and former NFL executive Jay Baer as President. These hires have helped bring a level of professionalism and expertise to the team that has helped them continue to grow and succeed.

Adapting to the Changing Landscape 

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Finally, NRG Esports has been successful in adapting to the ever-changing esports landscape. They’ve been quick to pivot when necessary, such as when they decided to drop their Hearthstone team in favor of focusing on other games. They’ve also been willing to take risks, such as when they signed Fortnite player Williams “Zayt” Aubin to a $300,000-per-year contract, a move that was criticized by some but has since paid off for the team. By staying agile and adapting to new trends and opportunities, NRG Esports has been able to stay ahead of the curve and continue to grow its business.


In conclusion, NRG Esports’ success can be attributed to a combination of factors, including diversification, partnerships, community building, top talent, and adaptability. By taking a holistic approach to building their franchise, NRG Esports has managed to create a multi-million dollar business that is respected and admired within the esports industry. As esports continues to grow and evolve, it will be interesting to see how NRG Esports continues to adapt and succeed in this fast-paced and competitive field. See how to Enter the Ring: The Ultimate Guide to Esports Boxing Club