Comcast’s Tucker Roberts on esports and Philadelphia's place in the growing industryFebruary 10th, 2020
Comcast's gaming chief Tucker Roberts says the explosive growth of esports is no fad.
Roberts, president of Comcast Spectacor’s gaming division and the Philadelphia Fusion esports team, points to growing investment and viewership numbers in the burgeoning billion-dollar industry.
"You may look at the investment evaluation, you can look at monetization, you can look at a million things," Roberts said. "But the thing you can't discredit is the growth of the viewership."
Comcast Spectactor — a subsidiary of Philadelphia-based Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) — is placing a big bet on esports with Roberts at the helm. The company has made significant investments in the space, sinking millions of dollars into esports network Nerd Street Gamers, a South Korean team and a $50 million arena in South Philly for the Fusion. As the son of longtime Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and grandson of the company founder, Roberts has media in his blood.
The Fusion, Comcast Spectacor's Overwatch League team, is returning to Philadelphia for its first-ever homestand — a live event where teams play in their hometowns. The team will take over The Met for Valentine’s Day weekend, inviting teams from Houston, Florida and Washington, D.C., for the “Battle of Brotherly Love.” The Fusion will host two more homestands this year: another at The Met and the final game in Atlantic City.
The Fusion previously played at the Blizzard Arena in California, but the team will move into the new arena in 2021 as the league transitions to city-based home and away games, much like traditional sports.
The Philadelphia Business Journal talked with Roberts about building a fan base for a fledgling league, the Fusion’s homestands and the team’s impending permanent move into town.
Click below to read the full interview on Philadelphia Business Journal.