For years, going back to the Pong consoles and arcades of the 1970s, video games were considered novelties, time-wasters and even a fad that would fade away.

In 2018, more people watched the League of Legends World Championships than the Super Bowl. And esports — literally professional, spectator-driven video gaming — is only getting bigger.

In Delaware, esports hasn’t made a big splash just yet. University of Delaware has an EGF esports team, with an arena that launched last year, but as far as organized local teams and live gaming events, the state seemed to be falling behind when it came to an industry that is exploding in places like Philadelphia, where the Wells Fargo Center hosted the Global Overwatch Finals last September, and the Fusion Arena, soon to be home of the official Overwatch team Philadelphia Fusion, is slated for a 2021 launch.

Stephen Sye, Malcolm Coley, Newdy Felton and Ronald Berry want to change that with Futures First Gaming, an esports startup that combines competitive gaming events and team formation with education and access.


“Futures First Gaming is an esports and STEM education company,” said Sye, the company’s CEO as well as the executive director of the Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation. “Delaware has the potential to be a mecca for esports. Our premise is based on