People React to ESPN Airing eSports Tournament

"I don't have a damn clue what I'm watching, but they won't let me leave."


Heroes of the Storm

Following comments from ESPN president John Skipper last year that competitive gaming is not a sport (but rather a competition), the sports giant on Sunday evening aired two hours of gaming programming on ESPN 2. And the response was...enthusiastic to say the least.

No Caption Provided

ESPN 2 broadcast the championship round of Blizzard's "Heroes of the Dorm" event, a collegiate tournament for the developer's free-to-play MOBA Heroes of the Storm.

The event took place in primetime, competing against the NBA playoffs and Major League Baseball, among other traditional professional sporting events.

The Heroes of the Dorm Grand Finals saw teams from Arizona State University and the University of California at Berkeley compete for a chance to win tuition money. The Golden Bears of UC Berkeley ended up winning.

As you might have guessed, people had a lot of things to say about it--some praised ESPN while others said games have no place on the network. Check out some of the mountains of tweets below, which include comments from fans, and even some ESPN personalities and sports writers.

This isn't the first time ESPN has aired video game programming, as the network also broadcast footage from the DOTA 2 tournament The International last year. What do you think of ESPN getting into gaming content? Let us know in the comments below.

Heroes of the Storm enters open beta on May 19, while the release date for the full game is June 2.

Via: Kotaku

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Avatar image for da_chub

This is where I'm in the minority today. I play video games. I don't spend more time on YouTube watching them then playing like today's gamers do. I also do not consider sitting in your bedroom, in the dark, with a headset talking to your friend who you are playing minecraft with...a sport. So for me, a true gamer, this is sad to see ESPN airing this.

Avatar image for MondasM

yeah, football (it's not soccer, FOOTBALL) was just a game hundred years ago, look how less it developed... :D

Avatar image for Anigmar

Can we just leave it at being a competition? There're videogames, tcg, tabletop, cooking, sports... I love my SC2 tournaments but a sports channel is not a good place for it. You're forcing people who don't like it to watch it, giving them the chance to ruin the experience for those of us who like it. Respect is not exactly one of people's virtues these days.

Avatar image for kikook

Gaming can never be a sport because the definition of a sport involves physical activity. They are right for saying it's not a sport. However, it doesn't make it less of a competition.

Avatar image for MrTekku

@kikook: Isn't chess recognized as a sport? And gaming surely involves a lot more physical skill than chess.

Avatar image for deathblow3

so ESPN has aired other non-sports "games" competition before right? i don't see why they don't air all competitive games. not just muscly brawny competitions, well the brain is a muscle too and so are your fingers so i say why not? people want to see it lets do it all the time.

Avatar image for WuShogun212

I don't really watch eSports just because I'm not really interested in it, but I have to admit that competitive gaming is very much a sport. The perfect example for this is chess, which has been officially a sport for almost 100 years whether you like it or not. There is actually a lot of science behind the argument of why chess is a sport, mainly stating that using the brain (as a muscle) to solve complex problems in a activity with rules and regulations is equal to a game where people are running around chasing a ball.

I just don't think that arguing with people who probably don't understand gaming and watch more popular sports like football or basketball is going to change anything. But I do think they simplify gaming too much, saying that it is just a game, but if you simplify any sport you could get the same result. Football is just getting a ball past lines, basketball is a game of getting a ball in a hoop, and hockey is just figure skating while trying to get a puck in a goal. But the "you have to move your body until you sweat to be considered a sport" argument is a poor one, Both high level Football (or any contemporary sport) and high level competitive gaming require lots of practice and talent to achieve victory.

That's my two cents on the subject.

Avatar image for StokeMeAClipper

Basically if chess is considered a sport then I think e-sports has an equal right to be called one. I've only just learned from reading below that poker is also broadcast as a sport, same applies.

Darts is considered a sport on the grounds that it is about your physical ability to achieve the goal of the game. In that respect games like first person shooters have an equal right to be called sports.

I think it all depends on the personal threshold you apply as to what defines a sport. To be honest, I don't even know where my own cut off point is regarding what defines a sport. I do however feel gaming is descriminated against because of preconceived notions of what a sport is.

Avatar image for OldKye

I admit the quote alone makes it worth it lol, also loved "The mines could prove disastrous."

I don't normally watch competitive gaming since I can play it myself, nor do I watch poker or any of the offshoots because I can play it myself, and honestly I never use to watch anything but the finals in pretty much any sport until I broke my arm and leg because I could play it myself.

But if people want to watch it I hope they air it once in a while if only for comments like that lol.

Avatar image for xcollector

"competitive gaming is not a sport (but rather a competition)" and I agree with this statement. But I also don't think poker is a sport and if they are willing to show poker competitions than why not video games too?

Avatar image for Atzenkiller

@xcollector: So ESPN shows poker touraments, too? I don't see any problem with e-sports but does it make sense to show people playing videogames competitively on the "normal" sports channels? Why not make a new channel for that or choose one where it fits in better?

Avatar image for Vexov

Heroes of the Storm, esports?. I don't think it should be taken seriously until Blizzard puts some serious work to fixing and balancing, what a joke.

Feels wrong that this game is being taken seriously.

Avatar image for ratchet200

@Vexov: Yea a game in beta becoming an esports game is absurd. Really hope they polish it up A LOT before it gets a 1.0 version.

Avatar image for hystavito

Many people predicted this kinda thing would happen. My friends all love to fiddle with their mobile games but they'd all yell ridiculous if they saw eSports on ESPN/TSN/etc. They are in their 30s, I imagine the response would get even more negative as age increases and sports fans include pretty much all age groups.

To those who might be angered by the negative response, just keep in mind how most gamers feel when other communities/things encroach on gaming.

Avatar image for Atzenkiller

@hystavito: What do mobile games have to do with e-sports? Of course the casual folks have a negative view on that, they play games to waste time while those e-sports guys play games obsessively every day so it might seem like all they do is waste all their time playing some videogame.

Avatar image for hystavito

I should add, although gaming has become more mainstream, maybe a lot of teen-30 something ESPN viewers play console or PC games, most of them still aren't interested in eSports.

Put on something different but still gaming related, I don't know say a CoD tournament played by celebrities from sports or wherever, maybe it wouldn't be as bad. Of course that wouldn't really qualify as sports but whatever :).

Avatar image for Metallicwolf29

No talent involved in gaming. If you practice long enough you can beat anyone at any video game however.....

In real sports like football and baseball It doesn't matter how long you practice, unless you are physically gifted, not many are able to play and be successful at professional sports

Avatar image for Poodger

@Metallicwolf29: Athletes were not born physically fit and gifted. They had to work hard to train their bodies into a position fit for sports. Go away with the nonsense you are spouting about natural talent in the sports world. Those people made themselves, it wasn't given to them.

Furthermore, even if what you said was true, that would be pathetic. I have far more respect for someone who practiced hard to become good. Not someone who just was given their talent by nature. That is lazy and unremarkable.

Avatar image for StokeMeAClipper

@Metallicwolf29: You have no idea what you are talking about.

Avatar image for may967873

@Metallicwolf29: Tom Brady's not physically gifted do you have an answer for that, hence the world class track stars that failed as wide receivers so many, they were physically gifted why did they fail, either you're good at football or you're not physical gifts is only so much of the equation

Avatar image for Metallicwolf29

Maybe the track stars could not transition well into football. There is more to being a wide receiver than just being fast. Do you even watch football?

Avatar image for ArchAngelAlex

@Metallicwolf29: I can't really tell what you mean or understand by physically gifted, in this particular instance. If you mean a football player is 6 feet tall and is a hulking pain train when they exit the womb, it's a bit of a stretch (in more ways than one :)) )

Joking aside, I assume you refer to the fact that they possess the right genes to be able to gain muscle mass and speed and so forth, but, even so, if you put any one of those players in front of one of the games in the esports scene and told them to keep practicing that game until they got insanely good at it, they might not actually get that good.

The way you phrased things, though, it would make it seem like absolutely everyone can be a top esports champ, even if they don't possess this mystical "talent" you speak of.

When in actuality, these are two entirely different things we're talking about. Esports players probably (not surely) wouldn't be able to perform an athletic sport to much great success. The same goes for athletes trying to get good at esports.

Also, if you need examples of professional sports players that aren't physically gifted, look no further than golf, or curling, or poker as someone else has mentioned. These are all professional sports, and their practitioners don't need to be physically gifted in the slightest to perform awesomely at them. It doesn't mean they haven't trained for them in other areas, though...

Avatar image for StokeMeAClipper

@ArchAngelAlex@Metallicwolf29: I don't think he understands what genetic predisposition is. Otherwise he would not have posted his original statement.

Avatar image for Metallicwolf29

You obviously don't know Tom Brady in that he is also a college football rose ball champion and went to Michigan on football scholarship. To be in football one must be physically gifted in some way or another in order to be on a professional level.

Not only is Tom Brady a professional but has won several superbowl and mvp titles.

Tell me one athlete that is not physically gifted. Granted some are more gifted than others but they are gifted nonetheless

Avatar image for danillocf

@Metallicwolf29: have you heard about reflexes? its something not everyone can train easily.

And not be physically gifted doesn't mean you will not be able to be a professional at sports.

i love watching e-sports and a lot of people try to be better at it but simply can't. You have to be prepared physically and mentally to play it, Do the right decisions on the right time, and sometimes the teamwork is simply amazing to see but almost impossible to achieve if you don't know the playstyle of your teamates.

Don't think your type of sports is better simply because you don't know about the others. If you lose focus on second it can be your team on the ground.(sorry for bad grammar).

Avatar image for StokeMeAClipper

@danillocf@Metallicwolf29: Small correction, though I generally agree. You are confusing reaction times with reflexes. A reflex action is a completely natural hardwired part of your nervous system (like blinking) and cannot be trained. Reactions can be trained to an extent but no matter how hard someone trains some peoples reaction speeds will be quicker.

Avatar image for Metallicwolf29

Reflexes for gaming can be acquired. You cannot acquire talent. Tell me one professional sports player that is not physically gifted.

Go ahead I'll wait.

Gaming is gaming. It is not a sport in the slightest.

Avatar image for danillocf

@Metallicwolf29: do you know about the paraolimpics athletes? they are not the kind of gifted you would expect to be praticing sports and some of them are as good as a professsional . And most of the time to someone be famous on sports they don't need only to be good, they need luck to someone find him and want to train him.

Avatar image for ark13700

Are there people who genuinely believe that esports is exactly the same as physical sports, or are people just mad that the word 'sports' is in esports?

Because a lot of people are complaining about people thinking that video games is just like any physical sport, but I haven't seen anyone actually claiming that :/

Avatar image for straightcur

Why not have a "gaming" channel if it's so popular? Move poker over there too.

Avatar image for Dilandau88

Pretty dumb. Leave it on the internet.

Avatar image for Zloth2

@Dilandau88: Beats watching poker.

Avatar image for Tanares

@Zloth2@Dilandau88: This. THIS. THIS!!!

Avatar image for Pie_FOREVER

While we're at it, we should make sitting a sport. I mean it's unfair all my effort spent sitting on a couch is going without an award. It's a disgusting injustice that I'm not getting the recognition I DESERVE as well as the millions of others that no doubt do it professionally and go unappreciated with how their skill and talents are unrecognized

Avatar image for jeremyc99999

@Pie_FOREVER: I could have went pro at napping.

Avatar image for guywoodthreep

@Pie_FOREVER: Not sure that needed to be posted twice, but props for sticking with it.

Avatar image for tekyondo

@guywoodthreep@Pie_FOREVER: goddam you gave me a jolly. Best comment ever

Avatar image for Holoogamooga_

No less of a sport than poker or dominoes.

Avatar image for straightcur

@Holoogamooga_: You're right, none of those are sports.

Avatar image for nicecall

i rather watch a gaming thing then a bunch of men in football raming each other and trying to act straight while doing it.

Avatar image for ratchet200

@nicecall: Wow, gotta remember not to say anything bad about American football O.o

Avatar image for guywoodthreep

@nicecall: Having many of these homosexual thoughts about sports are you?

Avatar image for Tanares

@guywoodthreep@nicecall: Heh. Nice. High five!

Avatar image for Barighm

"some praised ESPN while others said games have no place on the network"

BWA HA HA HA HA! What do you think sports are? Simulations? They're GAMES!

That said, I think something like shooter footage would work a lot better. MOBAs are pretty boring to watch, but then, so are most sports, so...yeah.

Avatar image for jjleshko90

Dude it was on ESPN 2, don't get yo pants in a bundle.

Avatar image for xwulfd

i miss those days where my cable airs unreal tournament match season