Debates about its merits as a true sport aside, the success of services like Twitch further highlights the rising popularity of eSports. We’ve already seen major companies like Amazon, ESPN and Google (via YouTube Gaming) get involved so it’s of little surprise to hear that Blizzard may be the next in line.

The company has filed for a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for “Compete,” described as an online non-downloadable Internet-based system application featuring technology enabling users to organize and promote eSport tournaments, to create and customize tournament brackets and ladders, track tournament progress, maintain related statistics and post results.

As Gamasutra points out, the filing may be related to TeSPA’s Compete series of tournaments and web services.

TeSPA, short for Texas eSports Association, was founded in 2010 and is currently the largest competitive gaming organization for students in the state of Texas. The organization’s founders, Adam and Tyler Rosen and Chris Kelly, joined Blizzard’s eSports team in late 2013.

Blizzard at the time said the partnership emphasizes the importance of TeSPA’s mission to accelerate and enhance the growth of grassroots gaming communities everywhere and reflects Blizzard’s ongoing dedication to supporting its passionate community of gamers and eSports fans.

So what does all of this mean? It’s hard to say with certainty although it appears as though Blizzard wants to use the Compete brand (perhaps it purchased it from TeSPA) to launch an eSports service to help organize and promote tournaments on a global scale.

As always, a trademark or patent filing doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll see a product emerge anytime soon… or ever.

Image courtesy David Goldman, AP Photo