Making a Splash with eSports
One of the many events and celebrations that came with BlizzCon this year was a whole lot of esports. Now, I’ve never really understood the madness that comes with this new event, but I also don’t believe that everyone has to love everything, so if people out there want to go crazy for it then all the more power to them. Just because I’m not a huge fan of baseball doesn’t mean that I should discount those who are fans and who follow it with excitement.
Blizzard hosted the Overwatch World Cup, the StarCraft World Championship Global Finals, and the World of Warcraft Arena World Championship – plus a few more during their BlizzCon, and it’s safe to say they’ll continue to do so as esports grows in popularity. It’s an area of video games that involves a LOT of money, both for participants and advertisers. It has become such a big thing that earlier this year Blizzard announced they would be opening their very own esports arena in L.A. for Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, and Hearthstone competitions. They’re getting in on the ground floor, and I can’t say I blame them. Even looking at the twitch streams that broadcast esports you can tell that this isn’t something that’s going away any time soon. Thousands of viewers spend countless hours watching the battles take place and even placing wagers on who they think is going to win it all. There has also been a fair bit of drama regarding teams involved in esports over the years, everything from people getting kicked off of teams to not being able to compete because they can’t enter the US.
One of the good things that happens by these types of interests cropping up is that there’s room for all sorts of expansion outside of the actual esports events. New websites pop up, new fan sites, new interest and hype for the fans. You can check out William Hill’s latest e-sport matches, read up on the latest team drama, and even place bets on who you think is going to win. There is a lot of room for growth because it’s a relatively new development still, and if it’s something you’re particularly passionate about then that makes it even easier. I love watching the hype and excitement.
None of these things is bad (IMO) even if I don’t quite understand the whole following. I’m not that big of a golf fan either, but that doesn’t mean I discount it as a sport (OK, well, I do, but that’s not the point here). Maybe one day we’ll even see esports as an Olympic sport, though I don’t think we are anywhere near there yet.
Did you watch any of the events at BlizzCon or have you ever watched any of the esports events that have taken place over the past few years? What were your thoughts? Are esports really “sports” as we’re familiar with the term or do you think they need their own non-sport category? As always, let me know in comments!