Alum Advises Professional Esports Players
Kyle Wagner, CFP, ’14, a financial advisor with Wagner Wealth Management, advises professional esports players and social media content creators. He is also a caster for professionals esports competitions with Complexity Gaming, a professional esports organization partially owned by Jerry Jones, owner of the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys.
Before finding his ideal career, Wagner had a familiar first-year student story. He began his LVC journey as an actuarial science major before experiencing an internship that made him change his mind. Next, he interned at his father’s wealth management practice.
“After spending some time studying and understanding what exactly it was that my father did, I fell in love with it,” said Wagner. “I worked with several clients, including a retired family who I helped realize could spend a little more per month than they thought. They bought a new car that week. That was the moment the light bulb went off for me—this is what I’m meant to do. From that point on, I knew I wanted to be a financial advisor and a Certified Financial Planner™ professional.”
Like Snyder, Wagner soon realized he could pair his two loves—finance and gaming—into a rewarding vocation. He worked with Dr. David Rudd, professor emeritus of business administration, to create an individualized major to achieve his goals.
“I grew up playing video games, and they’ve always been a huge part of my life. I’m still very actively involved in gaming.
“I’ve been fortunate to be a caster with Complexity Gaming in Dallas, Texas,” said Wagner. “I broadcast competitive events in World of Warcraft that Complexity airs on Twitch as part of their commentary team.”
Wagner’s knowledge of the industry led to opportunities to help games, many of whom are essentially independent contractors and small business owners.
“Because of my direct involvement in the world of competitive, professional esports, I’ve gotten to know a lot of people and understand that world quite well. Unfortunately, there seems to be a distinct lack of places for pro gamers and creators to turn to for even basic financial information.
“Once I was the extent of the problem, I knew I was in a special position to help. Since then, I’ve collaborated with my connections and friends in the esports and content creation world to help educate as many people as I can,” said Wagner.
And the business is growing each year. According to the Esports Reporter, total esports industry revenue eclipsed $1 billion in 2020.
“There’s an entire generation who grew up playing video games,” said Wagner. “They see esports the same ways as previous generations view traditional sports such as the NFL, National Basketball Association, and Major League Baseball. Regardless of the sport, people enjoy watching the best-of-the-best compete.”
Wagner has big plans for the future.
“I want to become known as the ‘esports financial advisor.’ If you are a highly successful streamer, YouTuber, or professional esports competitor, I want to be the person you think of when you need help with your finances.”