The recently-wrapped International 2014 was carried live on ESPN for the first time ever, and the broadcast was such a success that inside sources say the network now wants to dramatically expand its coverage of e-sports events.
ESPN's live coverage of The International was widely regarded as a major step toward the mainstreaming of e-sports, and fortunately for those who want to see more of that sort of thing, it went over very well. A source "close to ESPN" told The Daily Dot that the network was "delighted" with the response to the event, which actually went beyond its expectations "across the board."
"ESPN have seen enough recent successes with e-sports and are about to double down," the source said. "The numbers they hit with The International have only cemented the view that the time is right."
Next on the list is Major League Gaming's Call of Duty league, which ESPN had success with in June as part of its X Games coverage. MLG President Michael Sepso said at the time that the ESPN collaboration wouldn't be a "one-time thing," and now the network is reportedly in "advanced talks" with MLG about bringing future Call of Duty events to both web and television broadcasts. Coverage of other games is also being discussed, although those talks are at a much earlier stage.
Interestingly, the source also said that the number-one viewing platform for the PC-exclusive Dota 2 event was the Xbox.