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