Ex-NFL player Hank Baskett named co-owner of Denial esports
Read about the latest sports tech news, innovations, ideas and products that impact players, fans and the sports industry at SportTechie.com.
With the entry into eSports, Baskett joins current NFL players like Los Angeles Rams offensive lineman Rodger Saffold who bet early on gaming in 2013 along with the San Francisco 49ers, whose owners and some executives invested in technology platform Plays.tv last month.
“I do believe that with the growth and awareness of eSports there will continue to be those that jump into the culture because it is seen as the thing to do,” said Baskett, who played for five NFL seasons between the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and Indianapolis Colts. “However, I feel that some of those that have invested and ones that may invest in the future will do it because of their passion for gaming and the eSports industry. I mean, who can blame them, the growth of eSports has become widely covered in the media while the industry I believe hasn’t event reached its infancy stages!”
Baskett further elaborated to TNL that once Denial CEO Robby Ringnalda contacted him on Twitter and he heard more about the organization — which has teams and players across seven titles like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch and Street Fighter — he didn’t hesitate to accept the offer.
“To be part of one of the original organizations was an opportunity I could not pass up, especially due to the fact that I was the first person that Robby had reached out to in regards to ownership,” he said.
Two and a half years ago, Baskett said eSports would be a global sport in five years and while that hasn’t come to fruition just yet despite investments from NBA players, owners and professional sports teams, he still believes his “guesstimate was pretty accurate.”
“eSports organizations have created massive fan bases, with fans continuously following their favorite teams as well as buying as much merchandise as possible. Sounds very similar to other professional sports don’t you think!,” Baskett said to TNL Media. “The growth chart at least for a few more years to come is going in one direction and that way is up!”