Esports are coming. If you’re a Millennial, especially a male Millennial, they are already here. The Young Guns of the title are not just the gaming players but also the Silicon Valley titans starting and financing an entirely different type of esport league in 2016.
Traditional sports like the NFL are losing fans rapidly as they age and are not being replaced by cord-cutting twenty-somethings. Esport fans are an average of only twenty-four. While they may not have much disposable income now, they will in the future. The new Overwatch League (OWL) will have city-based franchise teams—just like the NFL. Once you buy a franchise, its owner is guaranteed not to be relegated, or forced down to the minors. With apologies to their fans, think of the perpetually losing Cleveland Browns. Its owners are still mad rich thanks to network television deals.
Once the OWL is established in the first half of the book, it describes the first season from both the owner and players’ perspective. There is also a summary of season two so the reader will be caught up to the present. Reading the book’s blurb and even my summary above makes Young Guns sound like an exciting book. Unfortunately, it is not. Endless characters and their backstories are introduced but then never heard from again. The author appears to worship the owners of Blizzard, who makes Overwatch. It feels like watching paint dry as I never felt there was an underlying point like there is in most non-fiction histories.
Bottom-line? It was something I never would have expected from a history of esports. It was boring. And sometimes, I read textbooks for fun. I have a high threshold for boring and staid works.
Ultimately, Young Guns is not recommended for anyone but hard-core OWL fans and the families of the players mentioned within the book. A disappointed 2 stars.
Thanks to Hachette Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.