This weekend, you can watch the championships for The International, the tournament for Dota 2, through sports network ESPN. Dota 2 developer Valve, which is hosting the tournament, is bringing the tournament to ESPN 3, the online branch of the network.
If you have an internet subscription, you can access the Dota 2 streams on ESPN 3 via the WatchESPN platform on an internet browser; the Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles; or the Apple TV, Amazon Kindle Fire TV, Chromecast, or Roku streaming boxes.
In addition, a preview of the tournament's final round will be broadcast on ESPN 2 at 8:30 PM PST this Sunday. You can watch this on TV, or through WatchESPN if you have a cable TV subscription. This preview will feature "highlights from the games, expert analysis, plus interviews with the players and Valve's Gabe Newell," according to a press release.
This is one of the first instances of ESPN collaborating to bring esports to its platforms. In June, Major League Gaming players competed at ESPN's XGames event in Austin. Today's announcement shows a growing push for an esports presence on mainstream media networks.
Qualifiers for this year's International tournament have been going on for over a week. The tournament starts on Friday and features a prize pool of well over $10 million. Given that ESPN's audience could be unfamiliar with the game--which has over 7 million players monthly--it seems likely that the stream would be geared toward newcomers, but Valve is also running a stream for beginners on Twitch.
What do you think about esports being featured on ESPN? Let us know in the comments!