Competitive gaming is about to get a definitive recognition in the realm of sports. Sports network giant ESPN just announced their launching of a new division which will feature wide coverage of the competitive gaming scene around the world.
The division, aptly named “ESPN ESports”, will have a hub of its own on ESPN’s website. If everything goes smoothly, it’s not far off to expect it will get its own regular segment on television, too. After all, they already gave broadcasting competitive gaming a test run, which was naturally received with mixed reviews, of course.
According to the website’s editor-in-chief Chad Millman, people can expect “the same level of quality content and journalism that users of ESPN.com have come to expect” in regards to the effort that will be put forth on the new division. So, don’t think that ESPN ESports will be like a junior division to the other major sports. And ESPN ESports won’t come armed with light ammo, in terms of the personnel involved. Headlining ESPN’s foray into the competitive gaming scene are four well-respected people:
- Darin Kwilinski, recent managing editor of Azubu, a similar hub for all things eSports, will serve as editor.
- Rod Breslau, recent senior editor at theScore eSports, also another hub for eSports coverage, will be on board as a writer. He was also a former editor at GameSpot.
- Tyler Erzberger, also sporting a recent writing background at theScore eSports, will join Breslau as a writer.
- And finally, Darren Rovell, one of ESPN’s highest-profile writers, will work on the website’s content.
The personnel involved means that ESPN is not kidding around with its entry into the world of competitive gaming. So, expect the highest quality of coverage for your favorite online multiplayer games like League of Legends and DotA 2 to be delivered to you.
eSports: No Longer a Casual Industry
ESPN’s decision to enter the video game industry is really not that surprising, considering the jump in mainstream popularity of the competitive gaming scene, and especially after online multiplayer gaming became a staple in the industry a few years back. Previously, competitive gaming tournaments only receive coverage from dedicated media outlets. What started out as LAN parties and local tournaments is now a full-blown industry.
And don’t scoff at the idea of competitive gaming. It’s not child’s play. Thousands of dollars are usually at stake in the biggest of tournaments. So, the next time your mother gives you an earful about video games on how stupid it is to watch people clicking away on their keyboards or controllers, remind them that the game of chess is not that different to behold. In fact, shooter games like Call of Duty or MMORPG games like Warcraft are more fun to watch than chess.