TNL eSports Podcast 021: Beyond The Whistle Interview


TNL eSports Podcast 021: Beyond The Whistle Interview (Photo: The Next Level)

TNL eSports Podcast 021: Beyond The Whistle Interview (Photo: The Next Level)

TNL Take: These are the best Podcast show notes I've ever seen so it's a direct copy from the McCants Sports website  run by President Odell McCant's and was a fantastic chat. Hope you enjoy it.




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On this episode of the podcast I chat with Manny Anekal, Founder and CEO of The Next Level, which covers the business of eSports and owner of eSports team Versus Sports. Manny is THE guy to discuss what’s happening in the world of eSports. If eSports is new to you, Manny gives a great, quick eSports 101. He and I also discuss the NBA’s investment in eSports, the growth of eSports at the collegiate level, career opportunities in eSports and much more.

eSports is more than gaming. It’s a sport and a growing, $600 million business.

If you wonder why kids will sit watching YouTube videos of another person playing their favorite video game you don’t have to look any further than the money trail. One of the most popular YouTube personalities made between $6 million and $7 million last year. It’s become a very real business opportunity, not just for the players but also for investors. Eight NBA teams, including the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Wizards, have invested in eSports teams. This is in addition to the NBA’s eSports league to launch in 2018 based on the NBA 2K game. On this episode of Beyond the Whistle, Manny Anekal tells us about a wide variety of roles that can be filled in the rising eSports industry and gives his advice how you can get involved in a very successful career in eSports.


Minecraft is more than a game – it’s an eSport that builds skills for the real world.

In this conversation with Manny Anekal, he and I discovered something we have in common – we each have a son who absolutely LOVES the game of Minecraft. And while many parents feel that they should restrict their child’s consumption of video games, Manny pointed out how the skills that are developed while playing Minecraft are in high demand in the real world, so much so that many school districts are using it as a curriculum to help kids develop logic and reasoning skills that are needed to fulfill some of the most demanding roles in the world, like computer programming and software development. Listen to our conversation to learn more.


The eSports job market and how you can get in.

If you can think of a position or role in the world of traditional sports, there’s likely a counterpart in the eSports world that you could pursue. From players, to sales, to agents, to managers and coaches, the need for individuals with skill sets to fit the demand is rising as the eSports industry itself grows. On this episode, Manny Anekal explains how you can become an in-demand person in the industry and what it takes to get there. Take Manny’s advice seriously. The eSports space is already tremendously crowded so you’ve got your work cut out for you if you want to get into eSports on a professional level.


Focus on what you want and make yourself into an expert. That’s how to rise in eSports.

When I asked Manny Anekal what he recommends to those who want to pursue a career in eSports he said it’s like pursuing a career in any industry. Decide what it is that you want to pursue then do everything you can to become an expert at it. So when it comes to eSports that advice applies to being a player, manager, sales person – you name it. You need to learn what is needed to fit the role and the industry and be the best at it. That’s one of the many pieces of advice Manny offered on this episode. So if you’re at all interested in being a part of the rise of eSports, this episode is for you.



[0:41] Why eSports is big business and a real thing.

[4:29] How Manny got involved in the eSports business.

[10:01] How are fans consuming eSports contests?

[16:13] The rise of eSports on the shoulders of kids who love Minecraft.

[19:10] Why basketball franchises are leading the way in eSports.

[26:21] The rising job market within the rise of eSports.

[30:37] The role colleges are playing in the rise of eSports.



University of Utah eSports

NBA 2K eLeague


Vision Venture Partners – Rick Fox’s Private Equity Firm

[Ed: What I recommend to all eSports Athletes on VS Sports to learn about business in general. Disclaimer: VS Sports is part of the Versus Sports company which includes The Next Level ]


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