Last year, ESPN 2 aired very serious coverage of the “Heroes of the Dorm” Gaming Competition. For those unfamiliar, “Heroes of the Dorm” was a Blizzard-sponsored Heroes of the Storm tournament pitting teams from college campuses across North America against each other for the grand prize of a full college scholarship. For as much backlash the coverage received, it did some pretty solid ratings for such a big step into e-gaming.
In 2016, the “Worldwide Leader In Sports” is taking a bigger step towards covering eSports. ESPN.com has launched a new vertical that will exclusively cover eSports and the world of competitive gaming. “We want to treat eSports with the same seriousness and credibility that we treat the NFL, the NBA, and Major League Baseball,” ESPN.com and Magazine editor-in-chief Chad Millman said. “To me the storytelling was so compelling and so powerful,” he said. “People were so engaged with the coverage. It felt like we were doing a disservice to ourselves and a disservice to the audience if we didn’t take this as serious as everything else.”
According to Variety, Millman said that the decision to begin more serious coverage of competitive gaming came from the passion and engagement of fans of the sport, but also from an issue of the magazine that was released last May.
“I think one of the reasons we were compelled to do this and act on it is because we saw the kind of reaction the eSports issue (of the magazine) was engaged with,” Millman said. “It wasn’t just people who are passionate about eSports or passionate about this community. The way that some of the numbers were put into context helped engage an audience and explain that this is something that you need to be paying attention to.”
You can check out ESPN’s eSports vertical, right here.
Photo Credit: ESPN