ESPN gets serious, adds dedicated 'eSports' vertical

By Shawn Knight
Jan 15, 2016
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  1. eSports is finally getting a place alongside traditional sports in the eyes of ESPN. The broadcaster on Thursday unveiled a new division on its site dedicated entirely to the world of competitive gaming.

    Chad Millman, editor-in-chief for and ESPN The Magazine, said the launch - anchored by the influential voices of Darin Kwilinski, Rod Breslau and Tyler Erzberger - is the company's latest push to reach and connect with a growing and passionate audience.

    ESPN said the first week of eSports coverage will feature videos, news on the current and future state of the industry, offseason grades of last season's championships and profiles of gamers that have influenced the meteoric rise of eSports.

    The network is quick to point to its "long history" of delivering eSports content but truth be told, it was no easy task to get to this point. Perhaps the most damning act of all took place in 2014 when ESPN President John Skipper likened eSports to chess and checkers - effectively classifying it as a competition, not a sport.

    In its defense, ESPN has warmed up a lot to eSports since that time, having aired the League of Legends tournament in 2014 as well as BlizzCon and The International Dota 2 Championships the past two years.

    Lead image courtesy Riot Games, secondary photo via David Goldman, AP Photo

    Permalink to story.

  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,339   +1,938

    ESPN would warm up to anything if it put money in it's coffers. The next time I see sport on ESPN will be the 1st time, all I've seen till now has been ads.
    mojorisin23 likes this.
  3. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,372   +2,164

    Professional chair sitting is a real sport. It has nothing to do with ads. Fans said so!
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,339   +1,938

    I guess. Sitting for 5 hours straight on the sofa watching ads is probably far more grueling than sitting on a saddle, riding vertically up Alp d'Huez in the Tour de France unless of course during those 5 hours of sitting on the sofa you've got a few six packs to keep you company.
  5. mojorisin23

    mojorisin23 TS Booster Posts: 109   +13

    ESPN is horrible... as far as actual sports on the channel, I think I've watched about 3 monday night football games this season. thats about it for the whole of 2015. No reason for this channel.
  6. Panda218

    Panda218 TS Addict Posts: 269   +99

    I guess I shouldn't be surprised by the amount of haters we have here considering every Esport article TS posts turns into a giant circle jerk about "real sports". I'd expect most people who follow Esports will continue to watch them via Twitch and not ESPN though.
  7. gollum21

    gollum21 TS Rookie

    "real sports"? Are eSports now sports as well?
  8. bob333

    bob333 TS Enthusiast Posts: 49   +11

    Yes. Same as like watching other people swim and you sit on your couch.

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