We're currently a part of esports history, the industry has come on leaps and bounds already this year. The introduction of franchised leagues, including the Overwatch League, have been a massive success so far.
Franchising has introduced many new teams and sponsors into the esports bubble but the work is anything but done. With a permanent place comes permanent pressure, and with more people getting involved, teams face much stiffer competition.
And somebody who has worked with these teams to help build the industry from the ground up is Looking For Group founder, Joe Hills. He was the first dedicated Executive Search Consultant in esports and knows better than anyone, what some teams are missing.
The esports industry has taken massive strides with the likes of the Overwatch League
Looking For Group founder Joe Hills was esports' first dedicated Executive Search Consultant
Along with franchising, another trend that has developed recently is a greater focus on grass-roots level. Teams have to become sustainable and if they want to guarantee their future, the future is what they have to invest in.
It's why Hills is delighted that more teams are beginning to create academies: 'In traditional sports when it comes to young talent, there is a proven path to going pro. You've got youth clubs and academy teams leading all the way up to the top level.
'They already have the structure while esports doesn't but that's another fun thing about where we're at because with teams franchising, everyone seems to be focused on building up the grass-roots level and how we get everyone engaged to make that future possible for them.'
However, developing and nurturing young talent isn't an academy's only use according to Hills. He believes they should also be used as a disciplinary tool: 'Players need to be held accountable for their actions.
'In football or rugby, if you step out of line or if you spout a load of irresponsible stuff on Twitter, then you're either put on the sideline or you're forced to train with the youth. You train with them to humble you, to punish you and to realise there are other people driving to take your spot. You are in your position for a reason but don't think that there aren't hundreds of others waiting for an opportunity.'
Academy teams are certainly a crucial step in pushing esports forward but does forcing teams to create one work? Every team in the NA LCS has an academy team that compete in their own league and while it has given