Best of KC 2020: Esports open the floodgates for a generation of new opportunities


KC Pioneers players pictured in front of downtown Kansas City. // Photo by Evan Coker

This month, we published The Pitch’s annual Best of Kansas City issue. You can browse the results of the readers’ poll here. The issue also included a list, compiled and written by our editorial staff, of some of our current favorite things about Kansas City in 2020. We’ll be publishing these items online throughout November. 

It took a while, but competitive video gaming now has a foundation in Kansas City. The city has hosted small competitive events in the past, but the Kansas City Esports Expo in January marked the event where this category of entertainment officially took off. Gamers in the city can look at the expo and see themselves on the big stage. The Kansas City Pioneers and Kansas City Esports are two of the city’s premiere organizations for this new vertical. While there’s a lot of money to be made in esports, they’re not here for that. They aim to have the same prestige and hold the same weight in the city’s hearts as the Kansas City Chiefs, the Kansas City Royals, and Sporting KC do. They want to be a cornerstone that city-goers can be proud of.

It’s not just esports that’s taken the leap in the city. It feels like gaming as a whole has a place here. The pandemic’s role in that is yet to be determined, but gaming is more than an activity for loners. It’s a legitimate outlet for people to hang out, stay in contact, and share experiences with each other. Everyone deserves to have friends see their island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons as much as everyone wants to see the team kill you got from D.Va’s Self-Destruct ultimate ability. Gaming is not only one of the things keeping us mentally and socially “together” during this year, its development as a professional outlet bodes well for innumerable new opportunities for folks of all demographics. Game on.

Categories: Sports