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Blizzard on eSports: ‘advertisers need to realise gaming’s viability as a sport’

Wednesday, 30th January 2013 11:28 GMT By Dave Cook

Blizzard is currently working on Blizzard All-Stars and with it, will enter the MOBA space. It’s a corner of the market that has invested big on eSports, thanks to the rising popularity of League of Legends, Dota 2 and other strategy games. StarCraft 2 design production chief Chris Sigaty has discussed what needs to happen before eSports can hit the big-time in a new interview.

Speaking with Eurogamer, Sigaty discussed the huge strides already made in the eSports scene – such as existing tournaments – but added that getting competitive gaming on television worldwide would be a real boost.

He stressed, “Ultimately what needs to happen from my perspective for eSports to take that next step or hit the tipping point is the realisation by advertisers that it does have the viability of other sports, that it’s worth putting the same sorts of investments they do into other sports into this.

“I feel we’ve been extremely close. It’s done much better than I had hoped with StarCraft 2 but there’s still an additional tip that can happen.”

Sigaty believes that taking a reality show approach to StarCraft 2 – or any competitive game – could be a perfect starting point to show the credibility of eSports to the masses. He cited ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ as a potential template for such a premise. It’s a show that features MMA fighters living together across a whole season while vying for a contract with the UFC.

Elaborating, Sigaty said, “Getting these fighters together in a house and watching them learning their martial arts and trials they have to go through to get to their fight, to make it to number one, that sort of programming, people would eat it up about a pro-gamer and StarCraft 2 or whatever. That I think ultimately would be where we would see the really significant tip.”

What do you make of the efforts of groups like MLG to really push the notion of competitive gaming? Let us know below.

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