Oh now that there’s money in it it’s a real sport, huh?
ESPN has launched a vertical on its main website devoted to eSports.
This is very good and we’re very happy, but mostly we’re smug, because we haven’t forgotten that time ESPN boss John Skipper once said video games aren’t a real sport.
Cynically, I’m pretty sure what a big broadcast network considers a “real sport” hinges on how much money it can make, and eSports definitely has the engagement levels to mint it, if anybody can get it right. That’s why Activision Blizzard is pouring money into the field, but ESPN, with its established partnerships and infrastructure, has an even better chance of laughing all the way to the bank.
Anyway, it’s great to see an organisation with as much weight as ESPN throwing resources at eSports. The scene is just as complex and busy as any other competitive sport, and is always in need of more dedicated coverage.
You can avail yourselves of ESPN’s eSports coverage here. The top story at time of writing includes the phrase “eSports is having a moment” and makes mention of several recent major investments. Amazing.
One of the first consequences of ESPN’s sudden dive into the pool is that Halo 5 will be featured at the X Games this month.