eSports Milestone: Video Game Tournament Featured On ESPN, Angry Feedback Mirrored Soccer Coverage, So…We Win?
from the soccer-is-a-sport dept
This seems to be progressing more quickly than I would have predicted. We were just talking about a milestone of sorts being reached in eSports, or professional video game tournaments. Last month that milestone was an American university actually offering athletic scholarship money for eGamers. If you look to other sports to measure the legitimacy of eSports and its acceptance as a competitive platform by the general public, it was kind of a big deal.
Probably not nearly as big a deal as having a major eSports tournament featured on ESPN, though.
Yeah, the biggest name in cable sports featured an entire segment, with guest Gabe Newell, covering The International, a Dota 2 tournament with a $10 million-dollar prize-pool. I can already hear some of you groaning over ESPN choosing to cover eSports, decrying it as not really sports and all that, but I’ll just rebut that by reminding you that the network runs poker coverage all the time, so there. Interestingly enough, as Kotaku highlighted, it wasn’t poker that angry Twitter users appeared to be mirroring with their complaints over the coverage. It was soccer/futbol.
And if that isn’t a complete win for eSports, I don’t know what is. Note that the response wasn’t hugely against the coverage, but the fact that the tenor of anger back at ESPN that did exist sounded very similar to the coverage of a legitimate sport, even if it isn’t the most popular sport in America, is probably a better response than most of us supporters could have hoped for.