One of the top PC hardware brands in the world, Intel, joined forces with the American Video Game League (AVGL) to start “Intel Inspires”. Intel Inspires is an “esports discovery showcase” where kids as young as 13 will play weekly matches culminating in a Nov 14th “combine-like” event. Intel says there’s over $150k in scholarships and prizes on the line along with the chance to get noticed by an esports scout. A few big names in streaming are also throwing their support behind the event including the enigmatic, Guy “Dr. Disrespect” Beahm. Inspires will field competitions for Rocket League, League of Legends, and Fortnite.
Stepping Into The Pipeline
Traditional sports spent the better part of 50 creating a clear road map for going pro. In football, you play in youth leagues, then high school, college, and hopefully get drafted into the NFL. Esports isn’t quite as clear. When kids can go pro in esports as young as 14 in some cases, it makes college seem obsolete. However, we know that not every child will be a prodigy, some will bloom later than others. And in many cases, may not even pick up the game until later in their teens. By creating more events analogous to the NFL Combine, scouts at all levels can analyze and potentially sign new talent. And if North America wants to be competitive at the international level more infrastructure must be in place to cultivate the next generation of esports stars.
We talk often a lot about the college pipeline, the pro-pipeline, in terms of how is new talent supposed to be injected into North American esports. And I think stuff like this is where that will begin is you’ll start to see these combine-like events where people are playing online and, you know, everything is going into one pot. There may be a kid who doesn’t necessarily win the event, but they there they’re a little rough around the edges. [Perhaps] they perform well and they could be coached up to be even better. So I think this is really cool and I’m excited to hear about it.Norris On Intel Inspires.
Enlisting The Culture
In addition to the support from Intel, a number of streamers and teams are lending their talents to the event. Most notably is Dr. Disrespect, who spent the better part of the summer in exile. Twitch perma-banned the streamer in June for reasons still unknown. He resurfaced on YouTube, shattering previous streaming records, but still hasn’t shared more on why he was banned. But its good to see that Dr. Disrespect is devoting at least some of his energy to good.
Also supporting Intel Inspires are brands like Tik Tok, Complexity Gaming, and NACE. Matches begin on October 10th and the invitational combine starts Nov 14th.