After the impressive showings for The International on ESPN, the sports giant is looking to expand deeper into esports coverage in the near future.
What people are calling “the biggest esports tournament in the world” is now complete and the dust has settled. If you haven’t heard about it, then it’s your own tough luck because Newbee were crowned the champions after what some may call a rather disappointing final, but ultimately walked away with over $5 million.
For the first time even, ESPN took it upon itself to broadcast through the ESPN online service as well as release a special once-off documentary about the broadcast on the cable TV channel ESPN. According to Daily Dot, ESPN was “delighted” with the results and the viewing figured exceeded expectations with the leading platform being from Xbox.
ESPN and Major League Gaming (MLG) have also collaborated on a Call of Duty event where president, Michael Sepso said that the collaboration wouldn’t be a “one-time thing”. With the platform of something like MLG and the massive interest in the USA surrounding Call of Duty on Xbox, it seems likely that the two will partner up again for the next big tournament.
A source close to ESPN said that there are talks to bring the above-mentioned product to ESPN web properties as well as the TV stations and ESPN is also in the process of looking at other games too. With League of Legends being more popular in numbers than Dota 2, it seems only likely that it will be the “other games” that the source refers to.
One thing is for sure is that The International 4 weekend was a stepping stone to mainstream for esports as ESPN look to get more and more involved with different competitions and organisers. Perhaps it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing major gaming competition broadcast across sports networks.