Valve’s Dota 2 tournament with a record is just starting up and even I am excited to tune in and see what all the hubbub is all about. Between that Riot’s weekly seasonal split streams on Twitch I have to ask: where is our eESPN channel or at least a consolidated cable channel dedicated to the competitive side of video games?
I made the eESPN joke a few times before (Be MOP #261, #276, and #356) but now I think of it more as a serious possibility rather than a silly joke based on wordplay.
I talked about the potential of some gaming streams to become full-time sports broadcasters, like how Riot has been positioning themselves for the limelight for the past few seasons with their personal stream filled with community created skits, Question and Answer segments with the professionals, highlight reels, Table talks with the professionals and analysis, and the personalities (Be MOP #276).
While I have not followed Dota 2 streams to know what they are doing for providing entertainment during and between matches but I do know and have seen the immense popularity of the Dota 2 documentary and fundraising for the main prize/jackpot.
I know for a fact that somewhere a bunch of sports marketing people just dropped their jaws when their heard the success of Dota 2’s fundraising project.
With Twitch’s constant concurrent viewers numbers and the level of interaction in the Twitch Chat, the games respective forums and , it is easy to prove that there is a substantial amount of interested demographic. With the year’s Fifa world cup ESPN has proved that they can get Americans to validate the sport of soccer and still getting them excited to watch a sport tournament where the American team was not expected to win.
It is not like there is not enough content to fill a 24 hours cable station, we have; League of Legends, Dota 2, Infinite Crisis, all of the other A.R.T.S, StarCraft II, both of Pokemon’s virtual and card game matches, Melee and Smash Bros tournaments, Speed Runners, Magic the Gathering (ESPN already has precedent on broadcasting this sport), plus all of the news programs that could be created about the latest news/predictions/gossip about these different esports and upcoming tournaments.
I would wager to say there is more than enough games to showcase for 24hrs content, a constantly updating website, AND a special, consolidated, twitch stream.
Just think of the promotions for Riot, Valve, and Blizzard with other companies, new viewership spillover from one fanbase to another, and the increased credibility with other viewers & non-viewers.
The only problem would be is licensing these games for public viewing, the personalities that are currently paid by these companies, and getting these multibillion dollar, global internet gaming companies (that are all competing with each other) to play nice and fair in order to get this eESPN network to properly blossom.
I think we might have found the reason why eESPN has not happened yet, but that does not means it should not happen.
But I want to bump the question back to you:
What do you think of a consolidated cable channel dedicated to the competitive side of esports? Would you regularly tune in to watch broadcasted tournament on a TV cable network, even if it was not a esport that you regularly follow? Or, and most importantly of all, would you rather stick to each company’s own Twitch channel on your computer?
Leave a comment down below I am interested in what other people think about this idea.
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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays