You know how we keep debating if eSports is a “real” sport and when will it get noticed/appreciated by a mainstream audience? Well, much like the 4th of July hotdog eating competition and World Series of Poker, eSports has finally gotten the attention it deserves, from ESPN.
The International is huge, and perhaps it’s because of the giant prize pool, or maybe because of the enormous user interaction thanks to the Compendium, but ESPN has decided to get involved. They are even getting an appearance from Gabe Newell as part of the build up to the final.
ESPN3 (which is available online through the WatchESPN app) will show all the matches along with interviews and analysis. I wonder who they are bringing on board for the event; I doubt that ESPN has eSports analysts on hand, so they will have had to bring on some special talent just for this broadcast. I would wager that depending on the success of this stream, they might start showing even more eSports.
Now can we stop discussing if eSports is real enough? Can we just accept that it’s a sport, that people play and watch it? We have enormous prize pools, tons of spectators, talented professionals and now some mainstream coverage – what more do we need before we just accept the legitimacy of eSports?
How are you planning to watch The International? Will you be tuning in via twitch, or through your DotaTV? Have you organized a viewing party with friends considering how late these things run? What kind of drinking games should we create for these events – every time someone Skywrath or Razor get banned you need to do a shot. Should be fun!