Blizzard: bringing eSports onto TV will appeal to mainstream audience
StarCraft II Lead Producer Chris Sigaty has both an epic mane of hair and quite strong opinions on the future of eSports. In an interview with Eurogamer, he insisted eSports "absolutely can" emerge as a powerful component of American mainstream media, and he suggested a possible winning format for that accomplishment lies in reality show style TV programs.
"Ultimately, what needs to happen from my perspective for eSports to take that next step or hit the tipping point is the realization by advertisers that it does have the viability of other sports, that it's worth putting the same sorts of investments they do into other sports into this," Sigaty said. "I feel we've been extremely close. It's done much better than I had hoped with StarCraft II, but there's still an additional tip that can happen."
Sigaty cited The Ultimate Fighter, shown on the FX channel, as an example of drawing attention to a niche sport by recording the social dynamic of a professional team living and training under one roof. "Getting these fighters together in a house and watching them learning their martial arts and trials they have to go through to get to their fight, to make it to number one, that sort of programming, people would eat it up about a pro-gamer and StarCraft II or whatever," he explained.
I can definitely see the allure of tuning into a show where pro teams settle dishwashing duty drama with League of Legends skirmishes. But eSports as a whole has a lot more going for it beyond the personal lives of players. Here are a few more reasons why you should get into gaming's competitive scene.