Inside Miami’s Florida Mayhem eSports Team

Florida Mayhem eSports Team

Since 2018, US states have begun to launch and regulate online and/or in-person sports betting markets. Since the Supreme Court struck down a national ban on sports betting, casual sports fans around the country have begun testing their knowledge by betting on their favorite team or players.

But there’s one growing caveat that not many are familiar with: eSports. Traditionally, sportsbooks cover bets on major league sports, as well as other smaller events, from Super Bowl halftime performers to the Oscars. One of the latest additions to these betting lines is eSports, which cover the results of major video game events.

The Frontier of Digital Entertainment

The term ‘eSports’ has introduced a new form of gaming that was once purely recreational. For many locals, ‘gaming’ doesn’t refer to video games and the rise of eSports. Instead, the region’s state-of-the-art casinos are typically where people go to game, playing roulette, poker, or slots.

In fact, the latter is considered one of the most popular titles in online casinos, which is why there are important Dos and Don’ts to playing them, like knowing their specific features and liking their themes, characters, and settings. These considerations also apply to more traditional video games and eSports titles, such as Overwatch and League of Legends.

Clearly, all gamers want high-quality visuals and a premise that’s worth revisiting. But video game-based eSports are quickly becoming an incredibly popular variation on traditional sports, in which fans follow teams, players, and games with an in-depth knowledge of performance stats, trade rumors, and international tournaments.

And one local team, the Florida Mayhem, are looking to stake their claim in the world of Overwatch.

Florida Mayhem & Misfits Gaming

Florida Mayhem is an eSports team that competes in the game Overwatch in the Overwatch League (OWL), which is the highest level of competition for the game. For traditionalists, this is akin to professional North American sports.

Florida Mayhem represents the Miami-Orlando region, while the OWL as a whole brings together competitors from around the world, including the US, Canada, UK, France, South Korea, and China. Each year, teams travel for the annual championship.

And though a league like the OWL may seem fringe, its inaugural season in 2018 saw a total of $3.5 million in prize money for competing teams. Today, the league’s winner alone brings home a total of $1.5 million.

So far, the Florida Mayhem has yet to bring home a championship title. They compete in the Atlantic South Division against nearby rivals the Houston Outlaws, Atlanta Reign, Washington Justice, and Philadelphia Fusion.

In 2020, the Florida Mayhem made its first playoff appearance since joining in the inaugural 2018 season. The appearance highlights the team’s gradual growth, which is supported by its parent company, Misfits Gaming. The company also manages teams competing in League of Legends, Fortnite, and Call of Duty. They also manage The Florida Mutineers, which competes in Call of Duty’s highest-tier league, the Call of Duty League.

Florida Mayhem eSports Team

One Fish in a Growing Sea

As mentioned above, traditional ‘gaming’ covers online casino games, which has been a global powerhouse in terms of revenue. According to Newzoo’s eSports and Live Streaming Report, the global eSports industry will exceed revenue of $1 billion this year; by contrast, the state of Pennsylvania raked in $423 million in revenue from online casinos in June 2021 alone.

Clearly, there’s a reason ‘gaming’ brings to mind slots and roulette for most. But, looking far into the future, eSports will be just as recognizable. The projected growth of eSports isn’t solely dependent on individuals logging on to play in the hopes of going pro; instead, there’s massive interest from spectators, much like fans of traditional sports.

In fact, the Florida Mayhem, along with other popular professional teams, have successful merchandising lines that let fans connect with the team—even Walmart now sells Florida Mayhem apparel. Additionally, this year’s OWL championship broke records of viewership, with a total of 218,000 live viewers tuning in.

While this doesn’t quite compare to the Super Bowl or Stanley Cup Finals, which bring in around 100 million and three million viewers, respectively, it’s important to keep in mind that OWL is only one of several pro eSports leagues, which share a global viewership. For context, League of Legends currently has 12 professional leagues.

 

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