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.”
Live eSports is coming to @bbcthree!
What is it?
How big is it?
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) July 28, 2017
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: