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hex_colin
06-12-2015, 09:38 AM
Relevant to our interests...

http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/13059210/esports-massive-industry-growing

Xexist
06-12-2015, 09:41 AM
Relevant to our interests...

http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/13059210/esports-massive-industry-growing

Cool. Good read. Thanks Colin.

israel.kendall
06-12-2015, 12:19 PM
I really feel like ESPN should create a new mag for esports instead of alienating their current readers.

YourOpponent
06-12-2015, 12:52 PM
Pretty cool.

Shaqattaq
06-12-2015, 01:48 PM
I think ESPN understands media as a product (as opposed to the game itself as a product) better than anyone, but their TV programs have struggled greatly as competitors have focused more on a more casual, button-downed entertainment focus or with more data-based, accountable presentation. Their personalities haven't adapted and viewers have grown numb to the gimmicky note they hit (ie Bermanisms). I think their personalities have lost too much credibility with a sportsbase that's more educated and informed with each and every day as well. People are tired of being misled by "inside sources" and they don't even break news-- individuals do that on Twitter now. The ESPN sources are either outright scooped or hamstrug by an agreement not to scoop the TV programs in an environment where seconds matter when pushing news out. They're a big beast that is still relevant, but smaller media sources in traditional sports are maneuvering around them like X-Wings on an Imperial Star Destroyer.

They have done some great things. I love moving Highly Questionable to the flagship station from ESPN2, and the 30 For 30 programs are an incredible watch every single time. Their digital portfolio is insanely good. Insane! They have FiveThirtyEight and Grantland, both of which have much different voices and blend different subjects in a way that people simply dig right now. Mina Kimes, who wrote The Demon King piece, is a great follow on Twitter and is one of my favorite writers. Clearly Bill Simmons put together the Avengers, but he's out-- it'll be interesting to follow along how things develop over there.

When showing eSports on their channel, I noticed an interesting trend-- most of Twitter was very critical, and the eSports community took it as a personal attack on what they love. What I believe was missed was that many of the premier "sports Twitter" voices were very, very positive on the broadcast, even if it was in their sarcastic, backhanded way that Twitter tends to be. When The Worldwide Leader eventually provides a dedicated eSports front, that won't be peak eSports-- it will have already happened, and they will just jump on like everybody else. They'll probably just buy out some outfit already doing eSports coverage and give the value of the ESPN brand name to it. In that, eSports doesn't need traditional sports media to give it credibility. It already has credibility, which the 538 piece outlines. I think what people aren't quite used to yet is that their voice matters, they are the majority now. The paradigm still says that physical sports rule, and established voices just keep on doing what they're doing. Your uncle or aunt that you see at holidays may not understand what you love. But, as older generations leave this planet and new ones come in, they join you gamers as the majority. These shifts are just slow to react to reality at times, and the reality is that eSports is already legit. Until then, just keep enjoying all the coverage and growth and don't mind the established giant no matter which way it goes-- you've already won.

Thrawn
06-12-2015, 03:21 PM
DotA 2 is already well on it's way to smashing those prize pool numbers and likely more this year to make the graphs look even better. Current International prize pool is already over $13,000,000.

Shaqattaq
06-12-2015, 04:01 PM
Just like technology wants a killer app, most sports need an iconic figure that both symbolizes the sport and global brands want to be identified with in marketing. That crossover moment like when an eSports player gets his or her own Adidas line or is part of a global brand campaign outside of tech, representing that mass appeal, will be the watershed moment where eSports begins its final ascent to legitimacy recognized by the establishment.

Xenavire
06-12-2015, 04:12 PM
Just like technology wants a killer app, most sports need an iconic figure that both symbolizes the sport and global brands want to be identified with in marketing. That crossover moment like when an eSports player gets his or her own Adidas line or is part of a global brand campaign outside of tech, representing that mass appeal, will be the watershed moment where eSports begins its final ascent to legitimacy recognized by the establishment.

Hold on Shaq - I could have sworn that I heard of corporate sponsorship etc for pro players/teams, so I have to ask - where do you think the line is? Does it have to be an everyday consumer item, or clothing brand, or could a new 'Havoc mouse' be the 'defining item' that brings it all together? Or would it have to be something the average Joe would go into a K Mart and see in a clothing aisle? What would make eSpots 'serious' enough to be legitimised?

Gwaer
06-12-2015, 04:16 PM
He's talking about average Joe kmart stuff. Though, honestly I don't think that's a watershed moment like it used to be. Custom apparel is easy and cheap these days. It's a lot easier to create these products than it used to be. I'm not certain companies need quite the same level of fandom before they make that leap as in the 80s-90s

israel.kendall
06-12-2015, 04:16 PM
When I lived in Korea back in 2002 I hung out at bars and watched people play StarCraft on their video game channel. I think the level of legitimacy depends highly upon what part of the world you're in.

Gwaer
06-12-2015, 04:18 PM
When I lived in Korea back in 2002 I hung out at bars and watched people play StarCraft on their video game channel. I think the level of legitimacy depends highly upon what part of the world you're in.

That's also true. In some countries esports have already taken off to insane degrees.

Xenavire
06-12-2015, 04:21 PM
He's talking about average Joe kmart stuff. Though, honestly I don't think that's a watershed moment like it used to be. Custom apparel is easy and cheap these days. It's a lot easier to create these products than it used to be. I'm not certain companies need quite the same level of fandom before they make that leap as in the 80s-90s

This is very true - you can bulk order shirts from places like Qwertee and sell them from your garage if you felt like it. Thats why I was asking though - I feel like it would take something a lot bigger then just clothing or a custom mouse, but I can't think of anything that would be both appropriate and attention grabbing... It would have to be something nuts like getting a pro players face on a box of cereal or something. And that doesn't quite feel right.

Still, I think the topic is actually pretty interesting. Any insights would be worth the read to me.

TOOT
06-12-2015, 04:33 PM
When I lived in Korea back in 2002 I hung out at bars and watched people play StarCraft on their video game channel. I think the level of legitimacy depends highly upon what part of the world you're in.


That's also true. In some countries esports have already taken off to insane degrees.

E-Sports are going to explode in the US within the next 2 years. The Heroes of the Dorm event on ESPN2 recently was just the start of things to come. Networks are desperate for live programming ever since DVR's and On-Demand programming are killing ad revenues. The only area trending upwards are sports/live events. This is evidenced by each sports TV contract deal being signed is more insane than the last.

Many of these Twitch channels with live shows and productions are already tv-ready imo. I'm surprised there hasn't been that transition yet.

The biggest question is if the events themselves become popular enough that "live" viewing is needed. With plenty of sportsbooks offering wagering lines on E-Sports, the foundation is solidly in place.

Gwaer
06-12-2015, 04:46 PM
It's just a shame card games are not in the average American consumers temperament. They're really looking for fast paced Action like your league of Legends and dotas. Hex would really need to flash it up to have mass appeal like that.

The_Lannisters
06-12-2015, 04:53 PM
Many people just don't get card games, especially when the level of complexity increases. TCG's will likely remain quite niche ...

Gwaer
06-12-2015, 04:59 PM
Many people just don't get card games, especially when the level of complexity increases. TCG's will likely remain quite niche ...

Unfortunately I agree. There's just no casual appeal. You can watch dota or league or especially heroes of the storm (because you don't need a brain to play it) with no knowledge or understanding. But the motion and particles and general tug of war nature makes it entertaining and intuitive. Card games have basically none of that.

Maybe if there was a spectator mode that had life totals and could estimate boardstates and give visual indication for turn arounds making it more intuitive and interesting for people to just watch. It'll be hard to do I think.

If only hex and league were part of the same game one pair playing cards the rest of the team fighting on the board but both games influencing the other.

PureVapes
06-12-2015, 05:21 PM
If only hex and league were part of the same game one pair playing cards the rest of the team fighting on the board but both games influencing the other.

Hex League: Defense of the Shards, next CZE kickstarter campaign! Featuring all the old champions, collect equipment and cards to enhance your hero and cast big combos as the match gets more intense!

Thrawn
06-12-2015, 06:10 PM
If only hex and league were part of the same game one pair playing cards the rest of the team fighting on the board but both games influencing the other.

Would never work, Hex is actually capable of good game balance and customer service so they could never get along with Riot. :rolleyes:

Shaqattaq
06-12-2015, 06:42 PM
Hold on Shaq - I could have sworn that I heard of corporate sponsorship etc for pro players/teams, so I have to ask - where do you think the line is? Does it have to be an everyday consumer item, or clothing brand, or could a new 'Havoc mouse' be the 'defining item' that brings it all together? Or would it have to be something the average Joe would go into a K Mart and see in a clothing aisle? What would make eSpots 'serious' enough to be legitimised?

Yeah, Joe Average stuff. Like, everybody knows who Kobe and Messi are no matter where you are in the world. A person can not watch a single Lakers basketball game and still recognize Kobe Bryant.

And like I said-- eSports already won. It's already legitimate. What seem to talk about wanting eSports to be seen as legitimate is that they want Joe Average to not turn his nose up at the idea of people playing video games professionally. That takes time because the channels that reach those people are typically slow to adopt something, then once one adopts it successfully everyone else falls in line quickly.

What people need is not necessarily the custom clothing, but the worldwide exposure that multi-million dollar marketing spends bring when Derrick Rose's Adidas clothing line launches, for example.

israel.kendall
06-12-2015, 06:45 PM
Just for the record, I have no idea who "Messi" is.....

hex_colin
06-12-2015, 06:49 PM
Just for the record, I have no idea who "Messi" is.....

Everyone outside the US does... ;)

DocX
06-13-2015, 08:09 AM
What people need is not necessarily the custom clothing, but the worldwide exposure that multi-million dollar marketing spends bring when Derrick Rose's Adidas clothing line launches, for example.

And, to be explicit, media companies need advertisers to spend money on e-sports. Advertisers need to be reasonably assured that if they sponsor an e-sports program, they'll get a return on that advertisement. Both advertisers and large media companies tend to move slowly (he says being an employee of a large media company).

In addition, it's not really in the interests of media companies to promote online competitions because it points out the legacy nature of what they're doing. If ESPN had bought Twitch, you can be damned sure they'd have a lot of incentive to put e-sports on SportsCenter and to promote the hell out of it. As it is, it'd be like newspapers in the 50s advertising TV for free. E-sports and the video games that spawn it are taking away audience share from traditional media. To acknowledge that, let alone promote it, would be against the financial interests of those organizations.

I imagine it'll go the same was as offering programming over the Internet went.... everyone knows it'll happen and it'll take a first mover to take a chance, be successful and ultimately lead the way for everyone else. That article will be one pebble in the necessary avalanche to prove to media executives that this is a thing worth doing. There will be many, many more pebbles to come. I look forward to seeing this transition and how it plays out.

Edswor
06-13-2015, 11:59 AM
It's just a shame card games are not in the average American consumers temperament. They're really looking for fast paced Action like your league of Legends and dotas. Hex would really need to flash it up to have mass appeal like that.

I think hearthstone has a lot of audience for a CG and also Magic, we just have to keep going.

israel.kendall
06-13-2015, 12:25 PM
I think hearthstone has a lot of audience for a CG and also Magic, we just have to keep going.

I feel like Hearthstone is doing for CCG's what WoW did with MMO's years ago. And that is destigmatizing the genre and bringing mass appeal. Back before WoW playing MMO's was considered super geeky, but WoW turned out to be the gateway drug of MMO's and now MMO's in general are extremely popular. We're no longer considered super nerds for playing an MMO (like I was back in EQ1).

The same is now happening with CCG's. Hearthstone has the average joes playing card games, and now suddenly it isn't so geeky any more.

This is probably the most important contribution Blizzard has made to gaming IMO. That being said, I can't stand to play either Hearthstone or WoW personally.

OutlandishMatt
06-14-2015, 01:52 AM
eSports are the new XFL. /trolled

I recorded the 1998 MTG World Championship on ESPN2. I thought it was the coolest thing ever! I really love how TCG/CCGs have really come along on coverage.

WolfCrypt
06-14-2015, 09:00 AM
I'm with Isreal frankly Blizzard are too money grabbing Its a wonder their popular...