When Activision-Blizzard acquired Major League Gaming earlier this month, CEO Bobby Kotick revealed his plans to create a kind of “ESPN of e-sports.” It turns out that ESPN has had its own eye on the world of competitive gaming all along, having previously tested the waters with several featured articles, web-streams, and even some live TV coverage. Viewing figures were obviously promising, as today ESPN ramped up its competitive gaming coverage with the launch of a brand new e-sports sub-site.
The new site features general articles on e-sports in addition to dedicated sections for League of Legends, Dota 2, and Hearthstone. The writers involved in the site include ESPN’s own Mina Kimes, who made waves online back in June with an in-depth feature on League of Legends pro Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok. The site has also picked up notable e-sports journalist Rod Breslau and his colleague Tyler Erzberger from theScore e-sports publication, and articles from Leaguepedia’s Adel Chouadria and Chinese LoL scene expert Emily Rand have also surfaced.
With top e-sports tournaments routinely filling out stadiums, giving millions of dollars in prize money away, and attracting higher viewership than some offline sports, there’s no doubt that competitive gaming is on a sharp upward trend right now. It’s hoped that ESPN’s official adoption of dedicated e-sports coverage will lead to wider acceptance of competitive gaming as sport and more professional reporting standards.