LOS ANGELES — The Golden Guardians were up, set to face Counter Logic Gaming. Jaehyun Choi plops in his gaming chair in front of his monitor. His is the farthest left of the five lined up on stage. Behind them stands a floor-to-ceiling video screen. In front, a massive TV streams the action to an audience in the theater-style seats.
Choi pops his knuckles and curls his wrists. He’s ready. On March 15, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors were set to take on the Los Angeles Clippers in a pivotal Western Conference matchup. About 30 minutes up Interstate 10, their esports team was set for a League of Legends Championship Series matchup, the highest circuit for the popular video game in the U.S. and Canada.