The BBC is broadcasting live e-sports tonight


The BBC is following ESPN’s example and diving headfirst into e-sports live broadcasting. “In the first deal of its kind for the BBC (we like to be first), we’ve signed up the Gfinity Elite League Series One,” says the venerable UK company.

“One hundred and sixty pro gamers duking it out every week in front of a baying West London crowd for fame and fortune (£225,000 of fortune to be exact). Each competitor wears the livery of one of eight established eSports organisations and specialises in one of three games, representing a rough cross-section of the current competitive gaming landscape: a shooter [CSGO], a fighter [Street Fighter V] and… well, Rocket League. After 10 intense weeks of clutch AWP plays, critical arts, and satisfying ‘doinks’, an overall franchise winner will be crowned along with three individual game champions.”

The twitter responses are worth skimming; as VG247 noticed, a lot of grumpy folks decided to dress-down the Beeb and mock everything from e-sports and video games to Dungeons and Dragons (?) and kids these days who could really benefit from some fresh air so the adults can stay inside and watch soccer. Yeah, I called it soccer. Fight me.

The event kicks off on BBC3 tonight at 9 p.m. BST, which is 4 p.m. EDT on the east coast, just as this post goes live.

More stuff about how e-sports has gone mainstream and you should probably stop whining about it unless you want to look old and out of touch:

Source: BBC via VG247

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Pretty excited for Street Fighter 5 showing overseas now. It started off poorly but with all the update and fixes the game is very solid now.


As long as all the players speak received pronunciation there’s nothing to worry about.

Danny Smith

It is going to be a nice cringe ride when the BBC teams up with capcoms current “remove the #THUGGERY from fighting games” as though removing the entire FGC culture will somehow gain them the appeal of the ‘did you watch the footy last night m8?’ audience.

This is gonna be a wonderful shitshow.


ESPN is learning the hard way what politicizing does, as is WOTC with the MTG tournaments….it will be no different with this I imagine.


Anyone remember celebrity poker? Just a thought.

Melissa McDonald

I’m not even 28 yet, but I now understand the truth: I am old. Because I don’t get this. At all. And that can only mean that I have crossed the threshold beyond hip kid to unhip adult. The crowds prove me wrong. Get offa my damn lawn!

Malcolm Swoboda

I guess. But I’m 27 and I get it. I don’t love it but I get it. Probably because I actually can imagine there being that one big game that intensely draws me in. It just hasn’t happened yet. (Same with my ‘VR killer app’.)

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It should be noted that that BBC 3 is an online only channel.

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Jack Pipsam

RIP ay.

When I was in the UK on holiday it was pretty much the only BBC channel I tuned into.

Roger Edwards

Yes, BBC 3 moved to online only in February 2016. It is home to a lot of comedy and music programs. The channel is aimed at a youth demographic. So this is not the same thing as putting e-sports on prime time BBC One, in a time slot comparable to Match of the Day.