Why Does ESPN Care About Esports? - The Lobby

League of Legends expert Travis Gafford joins us on The Lobby to talk about what ESPN's entry into the world of esports coverage means for the world of competitive gaming.

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The Lobby
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Avatar image for ratchet3

Because there is an audience... why else?

Why is the studio so dark? Get better lighting.

Avatar image for dannyodwyer

@ratchet3: We've been left without a studio for 6 weeks so we're making due for the moment. As it happens, the studio dudes did install some sick lighting into that podcast room so next week's show should be a bit brighter. Or look like a disco: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CZSwCHAWIAE28-i.jpg:large

Avatar image for hvd2222

it wont last long on espn.most people who watch esports use their pc,phone or console.and when espn sees their numbers drop from their regular viewers it will be gone.they are just doing it to try it.when they see the.most people watch it on twitch while playing it them selves.thats why it will fail on cable tv.

i can tell you i dont watch esports but i watch espn.if i see esports on espn i WONT WATCH ESPN.i dont want to watch NERDS BATTLE OTHER NERDS.........pass bye bye espn.

Avatar image for AzatiS

Why ? lol .... live streaming views from several big games/tours combined every year can be compared to some of the most successful TV series and that alone means one thing = money money and more money !

Avatar image for klugenbeel

It's a combo of Money and Interest. The fact of the matter is, the money comes with people are interested...so since there are millions upon millions of people, worldwide, that are interested in watching the big prize tournaments, that means companies want to get the rights to broadcast it and sponsors also want to be involved. You can't ignore how popular eSports are getting. Heroes of the Dorm (For Heroes of the Storm) blew up twitter, people who normally don't watch got hooked. I love my pSports (Football, Basketball, Baseball, Hockey) but I also am totally enjoying watching major HotS tournaments, just like people are enjoying watching League of Legends tournaments or even DOTA tournaments.

Avatar image for fartgoblin

Slow week in games news? Why would they care except for money. They are a large money making corporation after all and esports is getting more and more popular. 12 minute video really

Avatar image for Adenosine

Definitely money, what else?

Avatar image for hvd2222

@CallMeDuraSouka: you really think people are going to watch it on cable?its watched on twitch for the most part.watched whyle they play as well.espn will lose me as a sports viewer.esports need to stay on twitch.i dont feel like watching nerds battle other nerds.

Avatar image for packerfan7575

As long as they think they can make a buck off of it, they'll pretend to care. It was bad enough when they put poker on there but they're really tarnishing the ESPN brand by putting another non-sport competition like this too. Leave the sports to the athletes and games to the gamers. Otherwise you open the door even wider for things like, extreme stamp collecting, marathon tv watching, and competitive sleeping.

Avatar image for zyxahn

Peter you forgot about a couple of things that ESPN made bigger. Which shows that you don't watch ESPN. X games and poker. They know what they are doing folks. You don't like it don't watch it. ESPN will gain the viewers they lose for showing this stuff. If it doesn't work then they will stop showing it. Lawn Mower racing and Putt Putt tournaments showed us that.

Avatar image for bungholio

Same reason they're covering WWE now

Avatar image for soltar

The reason they are pretending to care about e sports is because there subscriber base is dwindling just like other cable networks. Their shows with few exceptions are horrible. People still watch sports just in different ways so they are hoping that with this they can get in on the ground floor and this will be the next Ufc

Avatar image for csward

I mean lets get real here. E-sports are a long way off from being mainstream like traditional sports. It could realistically take 20 years or more for e-sports to reach the popularity of traditional sports.

ESPN will throw their hat in the mix early, but I doubt they'll put their full heart into covering E-sports for a long time. Guess we'll wait and see.

Avatar image for prickpear

I want to know why there is still no HD remake or sequel to Jet Set Radio: Future, one of the best games ever made.

Avatar image for dkl322

Some thoughts:

Sport: an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment. E-Sports get most of the definition correct except for the physical exertion part. Like chess it involves playing a game.

ESPN stands for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network. They show Sports AND other forms of entertainment like Poker. E-Sports should fit nicely into their schedule assuming people like watching the competition.

At the end of the day sports are just another form of entertainment and its players are performers. See no reason why E-sports are any different. If it entertains then people will pay to watch.

Avatar image for banjhex

@dkl322: I agree. Every time I say the definition either needs to update or they think of another term, some trolls come in and tell me I don't know what I am talking about. Specifically on this site.

Edit: I have nothing against the idea or competitive gaming. I want to make that clear. It just doesn't fit the proper definitions.

Avatar image for DefunktJunk

Because $$$ that's why.

Avatar image for kappamerc

Gamespot must be getting low on things to talk about. Videos detailing the obvious aren't very entertaining. I'd rather you post less, more meaningful content.

Avatar image for ahpuck

ESPN has been losing money by the boat loads. This is not hard to figure out.

Avatar image for TheZeroPercent

--because ESPN is owned by Disney
--satan is real

Avatar image for girlusocrazy

- ESPN is doing poorly

- Game industry keeps growing

- Everyone else is trying to be "The ESPN of esports" so maybe ESPN should try

- Disney wants money

Avatar image for banjhex

@girlusocrazy: I want money. Does that make me Disney?

Avatar image for girlusocrazy

@banjhex: No. Disney owns espn tho