Esports is continuing to grow, and streaming and broadcasting setups are getting better and better. There have even been purpose-built arenas created for esports, such as the HyperX esports Arena in Las Vegas. Recently popular games have gained international attention and have started to be broadcast on traditional TV.
The Popular esports Being Broadcast on TV
As esports continues to rise in popularity and coverage becomes more prominent on TV, the age-old question of is esports a sport gets brought up. Regardless of your opinion on the answer, it is impossible to deny its entertainment value and the attention that esports brings in. There have been some esports shown by various TV broadcasters in the past, however, they are now gaining more attention than ever, and some games, in particular, are drawing in the big traditional broadcasters.
The team-based first-person shooter Overwatch may not be a new video game but still has a huge number of passionate fans and a large game-playing audience. The game was initially released in 2015 but is still getting viewership worthy of being broadcast on TV. Overwatch was broadcast on ESPN up until 2019, however that deal came to an end and it has not been broadcast so far in 2020. Despite this, Activision Blizzard, who are the game publishers, is still negotiating with broadcasters to get the popular esport back on TV.
League of Legends
League of Legends is now over a decade old after being initially released in 2009. Its popularity however continues to grow, with ESPN broadcasting the Spring Split Playoffs back in April 2020. ESPN has also shown other League of Legends broadcasts throughout the year, but not all fans have been impressed with the coverage. ESPN2’s coverage has been criticized by fans for its lack of cohesion with commercial breaks, as the broadcasters would show adverts over some of the game analysis. For the upcoming competitive League of Legends matches, you can check the LoL website which shows which teams are playing.
The sports giant Madden NFL has been a popular video game series that started way back in 1988 and today, the modern game is more popular than ever. Madden NFL 2020 has also been gaining TV broadcasting time after Fox Sports agreed to a deal with the NFL. Its first tournament was broadcast by the network back in March 2020 and took center stage as it was shown on the main channel, Fox Sports 1.
As well as sports giant Madden, NBA 2K has managed to gain TV broadcast attention. NBA 2K has been aired throughout May 2020 on ESPN. Like Madden, NBA 2K has been gathering more attention as an esport, and having them broadcast on live sports channels has brought a new audience to esports.
Sunday, ESPN2 presents @ESPN_esports Day
🏈 @EAMaddenNFL | Noon – 3 pm ET
🏁 #F1esports Virtual Grand Prix (LIVE) | 3 pm ET
⚽️ @RocketLeague World Championship | 4:30 pm ET
🏀 @NBA2K Players Tournament | 6 pm ET
🎮 EXP @PlayApex Pro-Am | 10 pm ET
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) April 3, 2020
Will the Popularity Last?
The interest in esports is continuing to rise, however it is hard to say how well a traditional TV audience will react to them. Some people prefer the method of streaming esports and believe streaming websites such as Twitch and YouTube are where they are best being broadcast.