As esports teams have become more professionalized in the last couple of years, so too has the ability of fans to get player jerseys.
On Monday, another step will be taken as longtime gaming brand J!nx announced that it has become the official supplier of jerseys for Echo Fox.
While makers like Meta Threads have offered a variety of team jerseys, even with names on the back -- a Team SoloMid fan can buy a Bjergsen jersey -- J!nx co-founder Sean Gailey says the future is more than just making the jersey and making sure it's available.
"We're helping a team like Echo Fox tell their story on their online site, on their web store," Gailey said. "There are a lot of new fans to the sport and we think we can help Echo Fox win more of them."
Echo Fox jerseys are available both on the team store and on the J!nx marketplace for $59.99 starting Monday.
Longtime NBA veteran Rick Fox, owner of Echo Fox, says the partnership with J!nx is the next step in esports mimicking the major sports.
"Jerseys are certainly a way to capture a fan's loyalty," said Fox, whose Echo Fox teams include 40 players in eight disciplines. "It makes sense that eventually Team Echo Fox fans would be able to get a jersey worn by a rookie like Akaadian just like NBA fans would want to get a jersey of a rookie that they wanted to rep."
Fox said he did the deal with J!nx because they were endemic to the sport. Not only did they have the supply-chain management to fulfill what would be increasing purchases in the space, but they also could help make the jersey more functional as wearable tech takes over.
Having the ability to sell jerseys on-site at a major event will, as always, depend on who is running it. League of Legends events, for example, are run by publish Riot Games and the retail seen is typically Riot-branded product instead of team-branded product.
While Gailey says the company, which has been making gamer apparel since 1999, won't be simply signing teams to make their jerseys, he says he does eventually hope the company becomes the Nike of esports. They recently hired an executive whose employment includes Under Armour and North Face.
Whether the big boys will get into official esports apparel in earnest remains to be seen. Adidas got a taste of it earlier this year when it agreed to make the jerseys for French esports team Vitality and it's not lost on many that the Philadelphia 76ers ownership owns Team Dignitas. One of the partners is Michael Rubin, who owns Fanatics, the largest licensed jersey seller in the world.