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Las Vegas Inferno firing up esports crowd

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Along with the Golden Knights, Raiders, and Aces, add the Las Vegas Inferno to the pantheon of Las Vegas pro sports teams.

The Inferno doesn’t need a ball, puck, rink, field, or court to play, but a fast Internet connection helps.

Las Vegas’ first official esports franchise competes against teams from around the country in games such as Rocket League, Fortnite, and Halo. Founded in January 2020, Las Vegas Inferno has 54 members whose duties vary from competitive play to content creation.

Mayor Carolyn Goodman acknowledged the Esports team earlier this summer. "It feels great to be represented by the Las Vegas city, and be acknowledged by the city as the official Esports team. We've been doing so much positive work in the community, we just keep on growing," said Las Vegas Inferno Chief Executive Officer, Jairo Urcuyo.   

“The immersive experience that these types of events bring” have helped esports become a spectator attraction, said Inferno Chief Operating Officer Michael Cox, something he said is evidenced by major venues such as the Staples Center in Los Angeles being used for esports tournaments.

He said for the Inferno, “sponsorships are probably the biggest source of revenue,” though the team “has adopted into the crypto space,” by merchandising through the use of NFTs.

The pandemic helped the team establish itself because gaming attracted many stuck inside their homes.

"There are so many people in this world, especially due to the pandemic that don't have access to their family," said Inferno content creator and Twitch streamer Briana Mercado, "and that's what these content creators such as myself, give these people."

Jairo Urcuyo; chief executive officer, Las Vegas Inferno; Briana Mercado, content creator, Las Vegas Inferno; Michael Cox, chief operating officer, Las Vegas Inferno 

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Christopher Alvarez is a news producer and podcast audio editor at Nevada Public Radio for the State of Nevada program, and has been with them for over a year.