HBO hit show Ballers starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson will prominently feature esports and League of Legends as a storyline, shining a light on the rapidly growing industry.
Primarily, Ballers is a show about Spencer Strasmore, played by The Rock, being the financial manager of football players but the final season will dip its toes in esports.
In a trailer for the new season, which debuts August 25, we see Charles Greane, played by Omar Miller, whose character is a former NFL player in the show, explain how he wants to become a pro esports player.
Throughout the series, he has had trouble adapting to life after the NFL and it looks like he could settle with esports.
In fact, it looks like the final season will focus heavily on esports, League of Legends in particular.
Fans of esports will see some familiar faces if they follow League, as Team Liquid is featured, and we even see Rick Fox make a short appearance, suggesting he could have a bigger role in the season.
— lolesports (@lolesports) August 25, 2019
The timing of this season comes at an excellent time as esports are bigger than they have ever been thanks to monstrous prize pools for both the Fortnite World Cup and The International 2019 at $30 million and $34 million respectively.
With many NFL and sports fans tuning into Ballers, perhaps the show will help explain to a new audience how esports works.
Throughout much of the mainstream, esports are still not looked at as an actual sport and are often criticized.
Building on that, video games have been blamed as the catalyst for mass shootings by United States politicians so the industry could use as much good publicity as it can get.
It’s clear the team behind Ballers think esports should be taken serious and it’ll be interesting to see how they tackle it in the new season.