This Week in eSports: Pro gaming is bigger than most pro sports

Rockets GM: eSports like "1950s basketball"

Daryl Morey, Houston Rockets GM described the eSports industry growth to that of the NBA in the 1950s. Morey says he thinks eSports will be one of the top watch sports of all time, he told ESPN.

"To me, when I was a kid, we watched terrible network TV because it was all we had. We watched 'The A-Team' and 'Knight Rider,'" Morey said. "When you go back and watch these shows or when they happen to be on randomly, you realize how bad they are compared to TV nowadays. My son is 14. He watches these let's play videos, people playing other in video games. At first, I was bothered by it, I didn't get it, but at the end of the day, if you go back when I was a kid, I watched much worse. These videos are more entertaining and more interesting than the bad '80s TV.

eSports Social Media Bigger than NFL, NHL & MLB

eSports is bigger than other pro sports... at least when it comes to social media. According to a new report from Adobe Digital Insights, eSports social media is growing faster than almost all other traditional sports. It's following is also larger than the NFL, MLB, and NHL. The NBA still has eSports beat in social media (but not in championship viewing).

“Esports had a 57 percent annual growth rate in followers, meaning it is growing faster than those other sports,” Tasker said. “Esports will be a winner in the next couple of years in following, fandom, and excitement. It’s ever-growing and morphing, while traditional sports are static.”

Money, Money, Money!

Pro gamers make "way more money" than the average Olympian. Considering that unless you're a winner, you're probably making diddly from Olympic dreams, eSports is also a year-round industry, not a every four year event. Nearly 150 US Olympians needed GoFundMe pages to cover the cost of their Olympic hopes & dreams, and many of these athletes live below the poverty line.

Meanwhile in eSports, pro gamers can win millions of dollars in a single event. The recent Dota champions pockets $9 million. Even after prize pool money is split between five players and a coach, even the lowest-placing teams make over $100,000.

What are ya studying?

The University of Nevada is set to offer an eSports course this fall as part of it's International Gaming Institute. So students can literally take a class about professional gaming. What world, eh?

The class will teach students about the eSports industry and, specifically, how it relates to casinos. They'll also do some data mining to learn about fan behaviors and how to use that data to attract new fans.

eSports TEDTalk

Lastly, we leave you with this TEDx Talk video on eSports by Noah Whinston, owner of the pro gaming team Immortals.