In his first year at UC Berkeley in 2013, Sam Wang found himself playing League of Legends, a competitive online video game, during his classes.
While it may have seemed like fun and games, Wang saw an opportunity. The esports industry, in which professional gamers compete against each other for big-money championships much like in traditional sports, was seeing exponential growth.
With the industry so new, Wang saw room for innovation. People new to competitive video games had little idea how to grow to play like their heroes. So in 2015, Wang and partner Kristoph Oedman founded ProGuides to provide training with professional gamers and educational resources.
“We found a huge consumer demand with gamers wanting to get better, and it was directly correlated with esports,” Wang explains. “As esports was growing, more and more gamers wanted to be at the forefront of competitive gameplay.”
As the world has come to accept that being a professional competitive gamer is a legitimate career path and an achievable goal for anyone, young gamers are starting to hone their skills in high school and college with ProGuides helping them along the way. As a result, the business is thriving.