Jess Colwill, December 2, 2016

Houston Rockets Hire Team Archon's Sebastian Park

Team Archon co-owner Sebastian Park has been picked up by the NBA’s Houston Rockets as their first Director of Esports.

While the team hasn’t announced what role or investment they’ll make in the esports community, they have brought Park on to guide them through the complexities of this brave new world.

Incidentally, their admission that they don’t yet understand what esports are is what first drew Park to the Rockets.

“What really drew me to the Rockets was their ability to say, ‘There are things we know, and things we don’t know,” Park said. “We know the esports space is valuable, now let’s take time and really figure it out.”’

Park comes from being CEO and co-owner of Team Archon, a team that struggled to keep players and to make ends meet. Finally, back in September, co-founder Jason ‘Amaz’ Chan announced that Archon would be on indefinite hiatus.

“A lot of people look at esports myopically, as something that needs to explode in the next week to make ends meet, and I was there, I ran a team in that manner,” he said. “The Rockets can approach this not from the perspective of a start-up, but as an organization that can make bets with the purpose of being a major player in this space.”

Basketballers seem to be jumping on the esports bandwagon earlier than other mainstream sports. Earlier in the year, Philadelphia 76ers Jonas Jerebko purchased and merged two esports teams, Apex Gaming and Team Dignitas. Shaquille O’Neal also bought NRG and added new rosters to its repertoire handfuls at a time.

Whether the Rockets plan to follow suit by fielding their own teams or to invest in leagues and events remains to be seen.

“Nothing is off the table,” Park says. “We’re going to look at everything.”

They are, however, the first organization to dedicate an esports executive to their front-office business team.

Jess Colwill

Jess is a writer and dog-lover from the eastern coast of Australia, who loves playing games (particularly anything by BioWare), listening to metal, baking, and fostering rescue dogs while they wait for new homes. You can find her on Twitter at @notsocryptic.