Pick the odd one out: Grammy-award-winner Wyclef Jean, veteran Hollywood actor Robert Davi, or Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund.
If you ask Peter Strömberg, executive at Swedish talent agency Orlando John, the answer isn’t so obvious.
Strömberg believes that “professional esporters are the new superstars in the world of sports.” His agency announced the signing of several high-profile esports personalities yesterday. It’s Orlando John’s latest addition to an esports portfolio that was launched in October 2016.
At the time, the agency announced the representation of Astralis—now with RFRSH Entertainment—Ninjas in Pyjamas manager Emil ”HeatoN” Christensen, Alliance’s Dota 2 player Jonathan ”Loda” Berg, CS:GO player Mikail “Maikelele” Bill, and CS:GO players Julia ”Juliano” Kiran and Zainab “zAAz” Turkie.
The agency has now added GeT_RiGhT and his teammates from Ninjas in Pyjamas, but also Fnatic’s CS:GO legend Olof ”Olofmeister” Kajbjer and League of Legends star Martin ”Rekkles” Larsson. Team Archon’s Hearthstone player Jon “Orange” Westberg, rounds up the list of newly represented players.
That said, the Stockholm-based agency represents many of Sweden’s biggest esports names and are probably not done with it, yet.
”I have seen the emergence of music genres like house music and hip hop, but esports is a whole new phenomenon and is outgrowing everything else,” said the agency’s founder, Orlando John.
As esports talent increasingly understands the need for representation in a market that demands ever more professionalism, agencies, established and new, have proliferated recently.
Late last year, G2 Esports support Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez, Tempo Storm top laner Diego “Quas” Ruiz, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players Josh “jdm64” Marzano, AWPer for Team Liquid, and OpTic Gaming rifler Tarik “tarik” Celik, signed with ETA, an agency created by video games attorney Ryan Morrison.
And in November, former Renegades jungler turned Riot desk analyst Alberto “Crumbz” Rengifo announced the Agency for Professional Esports (APE). A couple of weeks later, esports host Paul “ReDeYe” Chaloner revealed Code Red, a talent and consultancy agency.
With more and more opportunities for players and talent to find representation, a lack of representation will soon become the exception.