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eSports Starting To Go Mainstream

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the big-enough-for-annoying-ads dept.

Businesses 116

An anonymous reader writes: eSports have never been more popular, and many large companies are starting to view them in the same light as traditional sports. The amount of money being thrown around is beginning to rival the money exchanged over sports teams. A recent Dota 2 tournament handed out over $10 million in prizes, and Google's $1 billion purchase of game-streaming site Twitch.tv has now been confirmed. But it doesn't end there — companies like Coca-cola, Intel, Nissan, and major movie studios are looking at the audiences being drawn by eSports and realizing the advertising potential. "Last fall, Riot Games sold out the Staples Center for its League of Legends Championship Series Finals. While 12,000 people watched live in the home of the Lakers and Kings, over 32 million tuned in to the livestream." George Woo, head of a global eSports tournament, said, "Attendance to Intel Extreme Masters events has grown 10X with us filling up sport stadiums, where we have visitors lining up to get a seat to watch the competition. Online it has grown 100X, where we now get more viewers watching livestreams for a single event than we'd have tune in for an entire season in the past."

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I'll believe it when it actually happens. (1)

B33rNinj4 (666756) | about 3 months ago | (#47532217)

People have been saying this for years. While it'd be interesting to see it actually happen, I'm not holding my breath.

Should not be in college (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47532299)

Right now we have college that is minor leagues for basketball and football with unpaid players who should be in college at all just about being forced to go to school to be able to tryout for the NBA / NFL also when the team needs 40 - 60 hours a week you don't have time for school.

The NHL and MLB has real minor leagues with paided players

E sports does not need to copy the ncaa

Don't bitch you black black kettle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535999)

You want to bitch about sports players not needing to go to school with a post full of grammatical errors. You are the blackest kettle I have ever seen! -signed- The Pot.

Re:I'll believe it when it actually happens. (1)

gabereiser (1662967) | about 3 months ago | (#47532353)

While it's not to the point where every major city has a "team" of dota pro's... The International 2014 was shown on ESPN3, that's progress....

Re:I'll believe it when it actually happens. (2)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 3 months ago | (#47532629)

Wake me up when it gets more air time than the pro bass fishing tournaments or water ski competitions.

Re:I'll believe it when it actually happens. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47533067)

With all the streaming, it already does.

Re:I'll believe it when it actually happens. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47534343)

According to the representative from CBSi at the e-sport conference at Valencia 2011 e-sport already generated more viewer-minutes each month than superbowl does its entire season. The problem is that it is distributed on so many streamed channels that it is hard to capitalize on.

Re:I'll believe it when it actually happens. (1)

eobanb (823187) | about 3 months ago | (#47535869)

than superbowl does its entire season

The Super Bowl lasts an entire season now?

Re:I'll believe it when it actually happens. (1)

PPalmgren (1009823) | about 3 months ago | (#47533601)

Apparently the finals were shown live on ESPN2 as well

Re:I'll believe it when it actually happens. (2)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 3 months ago | (#47533667)

Was it shown on the ocho?

Re:I'll believe it when it actually happens. (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about 3 months ago | (#47532379)

The real issue with Video Game sports is the fact for the time for the people to get the 10,000 hours of practice to be a real master at it will take at least a couple of years. At the point where people are ready for it to be a sport, the game is already kinda old, and the new kids who are coming in are training on new games.

Re:I'll believe it when it actually happens. (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 3 months ago | (#47532453)

That's part of the challenge and appeal.

Some of the old games like Starcraft are still honored at sporting platforms, because those are the games where you can see the "old masters" play their refined strategies against each other, as is expected in a game of chess. In newer games, the strategy isn't a refined battle plan, but a more volatile response to counter the opponent's particular style, more akin to a boxing match.

Re:I'll believe it when it actually happens. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47533729)

Poor example, in a boxing match, you still have a refined battle plan because theres only so much your opponent can do (without being penalized), you simply design your refined battle plan to absorb/roll with/counter the enemy's own refined battle plan.

In newer games, its more like a race but the vehicle always changes. Someone who is a professional race car driver versus someone who is an Olympic class sprinter usually boils down to whoever learns/adapts to the sailboat the fastest/best. Oh and every sailboat is slightly different depending on which team members (if its a team game) are doing what task and how.

How long will PCs remain compatible? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47535031)

But how long will PCs continue to be able to run the Starcraft binaries usably? And how long will Actiblizzard continue to authorize streams of Starcraft play rather than just DMCAing them for infringement of the copyright in Starcraft?

Re:I'll believe it when it actually happens. (1)

doctor woot (2779597) | about 3 months ago | (#47532627)

http://www.esportsearnings.com... [esportsearnings.com]

It's not nearly as big an issue as you'd assume

Re:I'll believe it when it actually happens. (1)

ADRA (37398) | about 3 months ago | (#47532997)

DOTA in one form or another has been around since Warcraft III. League of Legends is close enough to DOTA that most pro's can swap between the two if they ever chose to. Strarcraft and its predecessors have been around since Starcraft 1, and most knowledge carries over. These people are used to rule changes, as generally every new game patch has the potential to introduce radically different play styles to succeed. Counterstrike and games like it haven't evolved significantly in style since the beginning of FPS's, so no worries there.

So absolutely, games change, but typically the games that are picked up for long term, high reward e-sports competitions are ones that have longevity.

Re:I'll believe it when it actually happens. (1)

Reeznarch (2465314) | about 3 months ago | (#47534685)

The skillsets required to master each game is quite different. Dota has a lot more strategic thinking, while League relies on twitch mechanics. Sure, a pro will be good at the other game, but not good enough to play both at a professional level.

Re:I'll believe it when it actually happens. (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 3 months ago | (#47534807)

Or back into the 90s with Starcraft if you consider that DOTA was a port (albeit one with a significant increase in complexity) of Aeon of Strife.

Re:I'll believe it when it actually happens. (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 3 months ago | (#47533191)

There's enough overlap from one game to another that it doesn't take a fresh 10,000 hours to master the next game that comes along. A surprising amount of the pro level skill is in fact mechanics (as in physically moving quickly and accurately enough to play the game at high level). There are several SC2 professionals that started their careers playing twitch FPS games for example. Within a genre... well there's not that much difference between SC2 and Command and Conquer, let alone Brood War and SC2.

Another aspect: This is probably one of the reasons Blizzard has stretched the SC2 release out over 6 years (that and making a dumptruck full of money). Every few years there's a new expansion which adds new elements but uses the same basic structure. Freshens up the game without forcing high level players to start from scratch.

Re:I'll believe it when it actually happens. (1)

un1nsp1red (2503532) | about 3 months ago | (#47533681)

The top players should have to compete in some new, heretofore unseen game a la the Wizard [imdb.com] .

Re:I'll believe it when it actually happens. (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | about 3 months ago | (#47533633)

The real issue with Video Game sports is the fact for the time for the people to get the 10,000 hours of practice to be a real master at it will take at least a couple of years. At the point where people are ready for it to be a sport, the game is already kinda old, and the new kids who are coming in are training on new games.

Historically, this is accurate. However, the effective life of a given game seems to be increasing. It used to be that as technology advanced, it enabled entirely new systems of interaction. Lately, the advancements of technology seem to result in better looking games, and enabling games on more platforms, but the mechanics of the games themselves are largely remaining the same.

The moba scene is a good example of this. LoL and Dota2 are really more sets of rules than they are technology. It's about how long an ability takes to use after activation; how long it stays active; what it's area of effect is; etc. We reached a point a while ago where implementing the system was possible. We can deduce that future technology will be able to create the exact same rules and have processing power to spare. But is there a need to change the values? Those values have been determined to be fun and while technology may enable more and more precise values, it may not matter to the humans.

Human perception and reaction is limited. We've seen this in audio tech. It's largely good enough because nobody can percieve the differences in 128 bit audio to 1024 bit audio. Something similar seems to be happening in games. We reached a point where we can implement a rule set that is sufficiently interesting and challenging to humans. we might not need to build anything more complicated in the future. Even if we develop a holodeck, it's entirely possible that people will use it to recreate sitting at a desktop and playing dota. I guarantee that should we invent a holodeck, people will absolutely use it to run a program where you sit on the living room floor in front of a tube tv playing super mario bros. on a NES.

Re:I'll believe it when it actually happens. (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 3 months ago | (#47532927)

http://i.imgur.com/oE3jel6.png

Now you've seen it.

Re:I'll believe it when it actually happens. (1)

lysergic.facet (3765733) | about 3 months ago | (#47533747)

I think this will happen once Linux is ready for the Desktop.

Re:I'll believe it when it actually happens. (1)

Ranbot (2648297) | about 3 months ago | (#47534951)

I wonder what Tony Hawk would think of the viability of eSports?

Re:I'll believe it when it actually happens. (1)

gangien (151940) | about 3 months ago | (#47535757)

We're a hell of a lot of closer now, than we were. There are people playing for literally millions now. A far cry from the days of fatal1ty.

Consume! (1, Troll)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 3 months ago | (#47532255)

...and many large companies are starting to view them in the same light as traditional sports...

Just another consumer product, of course "large companies" are looking the fleece money off of Americans with disposable income...

We are a "consumer society", as other societies seek to better their lot through education and economic advancement, we Americans consume.

I am one (1)

ADRA (37398) | about 3 months ago | (#47532301)

I got really into watching DOTA 2. I first started watching games to learn how to play it better. The game has a pretty big learning curve, so being able to watch how people played helped me learn the basics. Once that was over, I found that there are actually a lot of interesting casters who do daily live plays which are *shocked* actually entertaining in themselves. I don't necessarily spend every moment glued to the screen like I would during major tourney's, but a nice semi-background activity to spend time on.

Re:I am one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47532983)

To all the people staring out watching DOTA 2, don't base your opinion on the final to this years international. They were really lame. Two team with similar strategies, that both depended on a good early game, giving up as soon as they realized they were losing. And then the losiong team trying out the same strat two mor times.

Watch the semi finals, or last year's final to get a better sense of how exciting such a game can be?

Well, to be fair... (2)

thieh (3654731) | about 3 months ago | (#47532305)

If people classify chess as a sport, so should these things, no? But then again, When will we see simultaneous exhibitions with esports where one guy fights against 30-50 people and win?

Re:Well, to be fair... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47532439)

Who classifies chess as a sport? Honestly, I have no issue whatsoever with competitive video gaming, though my interest in actually watching it is minimal. But the term "eSports" annoys the hell out of me. Sports are by definition athletic. Video games are not athletic, and thus not sports. That doesn't make them "better" or "worse" than sports, they're simply a different entity. Poker was hugely successful for a few years (and still is to an extent), but no one ever tried to call it a "Card Sport". That didn't stop it from getting publicity or coverage on ESPN. In fact, if they had tried to call it "Card Sports", it almost certainly would have hurt its growth, because only a fucking moron would call something a "card sport". Which is pretty much exactly how I feel about "eSports". Except eSports are even worse, as it manages to abuse the English language a second time in a single word with the stupid late 90's preceding lowercase "e". As in, "the only people dumb enough to think this is a sport are watching it on the eMachine they bought from WalMart"

Re:Well, to be fair... (1)

Timothy Hartman (2905293) | about 3 months ago | (#47532645)

Chess players are drug tested [chess.com] like athletes in traditional sports. Wonder if eSports will do the same.

Re:Well, to be fair... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 months ago | (#47532841)

The really depressing bit is not that they are drug tested(this part is depressing; but not really depressing); but that we currently don't have any drugs worth testing chess players for...

At least in more...muscular...pursuits team biology has done a sufficiently good job that there are plenty of actually performance enhancing drugs out there. For the mind we have some mediocre alertness aids and anti fatigue stuff that allow you to study a bit longer; but nothing nearly as dramatic as what you can do to muscle mass or blood oxygen transport if you aren't afraid of a few side effects and/or disqualification. It's a tragedy, really.

Re:Well, to be fair... (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 3 months ago | (#47533669)

But the very article you posted says that there's testing because they're hoping to get classified as a sport, which no international sports league currently does. Chess promoters want to get into a sports competition such as the Olympics or Pan-Am games, and figure drug testing is a great first step.

Chess is not a sport, the idea is ludicrous.

Re:Well, to be fair... (1)

PPalmgren (1009823) | about 3 months ago | (#47533705)

I liken it to motor sports. Its one level of abstraction from direct physical involvement like most of the major sports. Driver masters the skill of driving which is used to control a car for racing instead of racing themselves. Players control an avatar for competing instead of themselves directly. I find eSports intrigueing but driving to be insanely boring so your mileage may vary.

I'd argue that level of gaming definitely requires a type of physical skill, though it'd be closer to badminton or chess than that of driving. Its about reaction time, quick twitch reflexes, and teamwork/strategy.

I agree on the classification though, and think the term sport is the root of the issue. What makes these things exciting isn't usually the sport action itself, but the fact that the sport/league is set up in a way that enables competition. These are a competition, as is poker, diving, football, and hell even debate, and should be called competition. I think the use of sport in its place is simply because competition is a mouthful and most competitions are sports.

Chess isn't subject to copyright takedowns (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47535057)

If people classify chess as a sport, so should these things, no?

No. The difference is that Chess is more than 95 years old. Anyone can sell Chess equipment and stream Chess matches without permission from FIDE or any other governing body. With games like StarCraft, on the other hand, all leagues operate at the pleasure of Actiblizzard. If Actiblizzard doesn't like a league, then under current law, it can shut down the league's streams with a copyright claim.

Not this shit again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47536037)

Why do you have to take every damned article on here and somehow twist it around to a bitch-fest about patent/copyright/trademark? Do you really have nothing better to do?

eSports are too deterministic to be popular. (0)

netsavior (627338) | about 3 months ago | (#47532331)

"Sports" consists of:

4 hours of "This team is totally gonna sports all over this team, because of the sportsing. These 12 players will totally sports all over the sports because of sports."
followed by a 1 hour game that takes 4 hours
followed by a 4 hours of "That team totally sportsed all over the other team because of sportsing, but these 3 players were particularly sportsy because of sportsing.

eSports consists of deterministic matches, usually between 2 players. There is just not enough bullshit to fill the air and not enough stars to sell shoes.

Sports fandom feeds off of the non-deterministic nature of the games that are played, sure there are winners and losers, but there is very little room in eSports to blame Referees, because in the game world it would be called "Exploits" and would be considered verifiable cheating .
The format has a total lack of potential for a "Support your Team" mentality " Sure team A scored more points, but Team B Player 12 did the greatest thing ever, therefore my fan activities are more valuable even though my team lost" some of that can happen in eSports, but for the most part, the games don't even support/lend to that kind of team play.

Re:eSports are too deterministic to be popular. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47532525)

eSports consists of deterministic matches

You have a weird definition of "deterministic", unless the eSport being played is something like eSlots or eRoulette.

Re:eSports are too deterministic to be popular. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47533491)

Do DOTA or league of legends games only have 2 players? I thought it was team based, 3v3 or 5v5.

Re:eSports are too deterministic to be popular. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 months ago | (#47532787)

The (current, at any rate) lack of geographic identification probably hurts emotional engagement a bit. The more successful team sports have a nearly magical ability to grab the audience in some primitive part of their little hominid brain that used to handle inter-tribal combat and allow them to experience, by proxy, the emotional indulgence of victory or defeat against the away tribe. It's really pretty weird. Especially weird is how easily the affect of the game bleeds over into other things, like the traditional rioting and setting cars on fire, or the stock market [unc.edu] ...

Until they come up with a way of inspiring the same large-scale insanity in their audience, 'e-sports' are going to have a difficult time competing.

Re:eSports are too deterministic to be popular. (1)

GuB-42 (2483988) | about 3 months ago | (#47533105)

Sports fandom feeds off of the non-deterministic nature of the games that are played, sure there are winners and losers, but there is very little room in eSports to blame Referees, because in the game world it would be called "Exploits" and would be considered verifiable cheating.

Pro gamers use exploits all the time, and these are usually allowed it they don't break the game too much and use only standard manipulations. Some of these exploits became a core mechanic in these games. A classic example is the strafe-jump in Quake, a bug which allowed the player to exceed the maximum running speed by making a series of diagonal jumps. This bug was voluntarily reproduced in the next Quake games because it made gameplay more interesting.

And sure, you have no referees but bugs and hardware malfunctions can happen. It's also common for players to take gambles, make blunders or in general do something unexpected that turns the tides. Believe me, there is a lot to talk about with eSports, some of my friends are into 2D fighting games and they comment the matches the same way as sports fans do (blah blah, should have done this, blah blah, was at a disadvantage, blah blah, just lucky, blah, should have won, blah).

Re:eSports are too deterministic to be popular. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47533261)

You should watch some DOTA - I'm not a fan of MOBAs (the type of game DOTA is), but it's clear why it's become so popular as an e-sport - all of the stuff you have said about is covered by it.

The metagame changes rapidly and there have been unusual tactics that have come out of nowhere and been fan favourites for the crazy play ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5I-5eo_vDM ).

The recent tournament showed that they can cover it effectively, with announcers having plenty to talk about during games, and analysts having plenty to talk about in between games - style, tactics, team and individual player perfromance, metagame changes, etc...

It's also 5 on 5, and individuals and teams have fanbases and styles.

It's about time!!! (4, Interesting)

joocemann (1273720) | about 3 months ago | (#47532377)

eSports have been my long-time favorite way to spectate gaming (or demonstrate skill to an audience). I've never been much of a fan of watching real-life sports -- some have been pretty interesting, especially if they don't have downtime (like soccer, rugby, etc) -- but at the end of the day, the fact that I don't participate in these sports has left me with less interest.

Competitive Gaming on the other hand, has been a staple in my life since Doom II. I will never forget how Quake 1 had great multiplayer mods with capture the flag, etc, and that you could go into a spectator mode. At that point, I was very excited to see how other players would react and strategize in situations I myself would encounter.

Fast forward over a decade and we've got competitive counter strike, battlefield 2, etc, rolling along and the shoutcasts started. These were always very niche, but they were far more frequent than the extremely rare CPL video streams and the poor attempts by big media companies to create an eSport event on television. Back then (about 10 years ago), those big media events usually had too many shots of the crowds and of the gamers themselves, and not enough attention to the gameplay. For me, the best shoutcasts were direct video streams from observer mode and first person mode, with announcers discussing the game as it unfolds.

Anyway... In the last several years, there have been Twitch streams and much larger scaled video game streams or recordings on youtube that are really starting to please my tastes. It's good to see that gaming, a very popular medium for competition and pleasure, is gaining mainstream attention. This is also a great sign that our generation is finally starting to matter.

Re:It's about time!!! (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about 3 months ago | (#47532473)

As far as I'm concerned the only thing as stupid as regular sports, are eSports. I will never understand either one, but eSports are perhaps more irritating to me personally since I like video games just fine, but the bastardization that occurred in turning them in to an eSport seems always to have entirely removed every ounce of fun from the game, in favor of the min/max activities required to compete.

DOOM was fun, then I beat it, played it a few more times just for giggles, then never played it again. It just doesn't make sense. Competition without a purpose doesn't make sense, in most cases it seems destructive. In a few cases it might be useful in determining an optimal strategy or team, but I'm not sure what i'd do with a team of footballers or FPSers other than football and FPSes.

Re:It's about time!!! (1)

doctor woot (2779597) | about 3 months ago | (#47532743)

In other words dicking around is okay, so long as one doesn't drop the pretentious nonchalant act. Otherwise the girls at school will see how much fun you have and the jocks will tease you for it. Anything but that.

Re:It's about time!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47532797)

I'm trying to get over the irony of someone with the name "austerity empowers" saying how competition of any sort is bad and destructive.

Re:It's about time!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47533515)

Jesus, no one watches Doom players beating the AI. These are team games where people play against other people. Did you ever play Doom over the network?

Re:It's about time!!! (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about 3 months ago | (#47533697)

By playing against other people, they're playing another game that uses DOOM graphics. Yes I've played it over the network, but it wasn't a lot of fun. It's like baseball, it's fun to swing at the ball, it's mildly amusing to catch balls launched into the stratosphere or flying at you at high speeds, or even to see how fast you can throw the ball straight.

Playing a game of baseball is incredibly boring, you get to bat maybe three times, more often than not told to not try to swing for the fence but to just get on base, even if it means jumping in front of the ball to get a free base (taking a ball to the shoulder at 90mph is not MY idea of fun, ymmv), because statistically home runs are unlikely, but a team that gets players on base will almost always get the most runs. Only one guy can be the pitcher so the rest have to stand around the field being bored, waiting for the ball to get near them. Mostly it saps all the fun out of the game.

The same situation exists in football, soccer, and basketball. In my opinion eSports are even worse because the single player game was designed to be fun, while the multiplayer game mechanics tend to deviate very far and you find yourself doing annoying things just to win.

I disagree. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47532785)

There is so much more with physical sports than with eSports, video games or whatever you want to call them.

With a physical sport not only are you building hand eye coordination in real life*, but you are developing physical abilities and social skills/social interaction. IM'ing with someone isn't the same.

*I've seen some of those videos of someone throwing a knife that bounces off a building, ricochets off a bird or something and then lands in some guy's eye. What physics are these games using?

I grew up on video games - no pretentious label of "eSports". What I missed out is "ball sense". Intuitive sense of how a ball moves and interacts with other objects.

What that means, after seeing someone hit a ball and then land in front of me, I don't know what it's going to do until I see it. Folks who grew up playing ball can anticipate where it will go.

Because I missed out on that - and it's something that has to be hard wired as a child - I am doomed to suckage as an adult ball player. Bottom of the 'C' league for me - and that's even paying mega bucks for coaches and playing every single night for years.

Looking back now, my years playing "eSports" were wasted. I should have been out there playing ball or something, making friends, learning how to deal with people.

There's a reason why the ex-ballplayers end up in upper management - and it's not all "jocks like hiring other jocks".

As an adult I have learned the wisdom of the Greeks who valued developing the mind, spirit AND the body.

Re:I disagree. (3)

locopuyo (1433631) | about 3 months ago | (#47534429)

Cool story grandpa. You played some shitty game with shitty physics so all games must have bad physics. You used IM instead of voice and video chat so the only form of online communication must be through text. You played some shitty game at a low level so hand eye coordination and reflexes don't matter in any game. You didn't make any friends playing online that you keep in contact with and meet in real life so no one must be able to.

Your failure isn't stopping it from becoming the norm.

Re:I disagree. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47536121)

The Greeks also valued buttfucking little boys. What is your point again?

Re:It's about time!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47533795)

This is also a great sign that our generation is finally starting to matter.

Face. Plus. Palm.

Coca Cola advertise? (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about 3 months ago | (#47532537)

Why? Newborns have brand-awareness. What a waste of cash.

Not Surprising (2)

doctor woot (2779597) | about 3 months ago | (#47532583)

Video games are better to spectate than sports. Broadcasters have known this for decades, doing what they could to compensate. Gimmicks won't stall change forever though, sooner than later they'll have to face this fact. The real interesting stuff will be the cultural shift when video games start to challenge the popularity of athletic sports.

Re:Not Surprising (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 3 months ago | (#47533281)

Video games are better to spectate than sports.

That's not true as a generalized statement. The games that are being played now by professionals in front of an audience, like LoL, DOTA2, SC2 and CS:GO are actually designed around being good for spectators. There's a whole lot more in the gaming sector that doesn't work for spectators.

Re:Not Surprising (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 3 months ago | (#47533753)

. The games that are being played now by professionals in front of an audience, like LoL, DOTA2, SC2 and CS:GO are actually designed around being good for spectators.

I don't know what any of these games are

Re:Not Surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47533943)

Allow me to help:

League of Legends

Defense of the Ancients 2

Starcraft 2

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

And don't forget about the fighting game championships, there's plenty of Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, Street Fighter 4, and Killer Instinct matches to be watched too.

I don't agree with the term "eSports" since most of the competitors I've seen probably never get out of their parents basement and subsist largely on McDonalds, Doritos and Mountain Dew. Are they talented gamers? Sure. In some cases they work great as a team. Are they athletes? Only if they can show signs that they can check their mail without breaking into a sweat and getting their heart rate up.

Re:Not Surprising (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 3 months ago | (#47534125)

The AC is right about what they are, although the point is that they're specifically designed with spectators in mind. That's not true for most games, and as a result there's a huge number of games that aren't good spectating material. These games (and others in some of their genres), btw, along with fighters, make up a substantial majority of games that are watched. People don't watch Mass Effect, or The Wolf Among Us, or the Batman Arkham games - it's very specific genres that even work for spectators, and then it's still mostly games designed for it from the start.

Re:Not Surprising (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 3 months ago | (#47534283)

i would totally watch a competitive street fighter or mario kart tournament. but only if they flipped back and forth between what's on the screen and video of the players.

Re:Not Surprising (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 3 months ago | (#47534253)

On the flip side, do you know the rules to rugby? Lacross? Cricket?

If I were to say the fencer on the left had a beautiful Pris-de-fare, but the fencer on the right's remise landed first, do you know who got the touch?

Because there are things out there which people enjoy, which you might not be aware of.
Hey, if you like to know which hollywood celebrity is sleeping with who, or what caliber the Austrian special forces use, that's fine.

And some people like reaver drops and forge-first-expansions.

Re:Not Surprising (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 3 months ago | (#47534301)

i know mario kart. and angry birds. could those be competitions?

Re:Not Surprising (1)

doctor woot (2779597) | about 3 months ago | (#47534097)

It's a consequence of being computer generated, the games can damn well have any visual and audio effects the developers please. Sports on the other hand are affected by the unfortunate circumstance of awkward silence and distant perspective. A game's shit design has nothing to do with it.

Re:Not Surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47533851)

So all this time I was training to be a 'sport'. Now that is an impressive turnaround.
My mother will eat her words . (Like loosing time in basement).

Re:Not Surprising (1)

invisibletank (2920371) | about 3 months ago | (#47534135)

I think a lot of the popularity of athletic sports comes from the fact that a viewer has some sort of stake in their team, such as pride for their city or country, i.e. the psychological aspect of "we're better than you." At least for myself, I enjoy sports, but only if I have a stake in the team. If it's just two random teams that I don't have any attachment to or opinion of, I tend to not be interested at all even if it's a sport I thoroughly enjoy watching when my team is playing. If video games are to have success on a larger stage, such as broadcast television, the average Joe is going to have to care about it. I.e. "Hey, the Seattle xxxx DOTA 2 team just beat the $#)(% out of San Francisco, etc."

Re:Not Surprising (1)

doctor woot (2779597) | about 3 months ago | (#47534327)

Dota team fans exhibit a lot of national pride. The fact that Dota is so popular in China makes a lot of big tournaments a clash of egos between Chinese and western fanbases.

Re:Not Surprising (1)

jimminy_cricket (139648) | about 3 months ago | (#47534607)

Video games are better to spectate than sports. Broadcasters have known this for decades, doing what they could to compensate. Gimmicks won't stall change forever though, sooner than later they'll have to face this fact. The real interesting stuff will be the cultural shift when video games start to challenge the popularity of athletic sports.

Decades? That would imply at least two decades. So you are suggesting that in 1994 broadcasters knew that video games are better to spectate that sports? I think that might be overstating things a little...

Re:Not Surprising (1)

doctor woot (2779597) | about 3 months ago | (#47535659)

It's not. Sports broadcasts have been laden with effects and embellishments for ages. Even if they hadn't connected these traits with video games the inherent benefits have nevertheless been understood.

A game's publisher is allowed to dictate (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47535093)

The real interesting stuff will be the cultural shift when video games start to challenge the popularity of athletic sports.

I expect that to happen around the 2080s when the copyrights in popular multiplayer video games start expiring, provided that national legislatures don't extend the term of copyright again. Until then, a game's publisher is allowed to dictate who, when, where, and how broadcasts are allowed to happen.

Re:A game's publisher is allowed to dictate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47536141)

STFU about the goddamned copyrights already!

eSports really ? when darts is a sport, then, sure (1)

vpness (921181) | about 3 months ago | (#47532703)

sorry, old school here. But a sport involves the combo of physical exertion, and skill. Skill for gaming ? no doubt gaming requires a huge amount of skill. But physical exertion? come ON. and no question that gaming is going mainstream, when espn starts covering it ... expecting the mod downs ... waiting for em actually ...

Re:eSports really ? when darts is a sport, then, s (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47532745)

Professional esports involves a lot of physical skill (and to some extent exertion). It is just limited to small, very quick motions. Also, as noted above, the DOTA2 championship was covered on ESPN (well ESPN3).

Re:eSports really ? when darts is a sport, then, s (1)

gunner_von_diamond (3461783) | about 3 months ago | (#47533423)

sorry, old school here. But a sport involves the combo of physical exertion, and skill.

Exactly. Professional Sports athletes put in countless hours of blood, sweat, and tears to become the best at what they do. They need to practice and better themselves physically in order to become the best at what they do. They risk their bodies (from injuries) when playing sports. Sitting in a chair with a controller behind a TV/Computer screen is nothing compared to what "old school" sports athletes go through. 2 a day practices, 6am practices, etc. You just won't find that kind of sacrifice in esports -- at least not right now.

Re:eSports really ? when darts is a sport, then, s (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47533931)

Starcraft 1 players on pro teams lived together and their average day was full of training between meals, gym session, and theorycrafting with their coach. Isn't polishing the matchups and builds for 12hrs a day not enough of a sacrifice?
Try practising so much that you are able to sustain 300 actions per minute with 99% accuracy for half an hour and then we'll talk.

Re:eSports really ? when darts is a sport, then, s (2)

Khyber (864651) | about 3 months ago | (#47533959)

" But a sport involves the combo of physical exertion,"

Back in my day, lugging that goddamned 21" Trinitron CRT around with my almost as heavy loaded Antec P4 Server WAS the physical exertion aspect. Not easy for someone that's 6' and 145.

Off my lawn.

Re:eSports really ? when darts is a sport, then, s (1)

vpness (921181) | about 3 months ago | (#47534001)

soooo funny. I have mod points, but can't use em on this post.

Re:eSports really ? when darts is a sport, then, s (1)

locopuyo (1433631) | about 3 months ago | (#47534471)

Why would they show eSports on ESPN when they can reach a wider audience and offer a much better experience with streaming? Traditional TV is going the way of the Dodo, everything is moving to streaming. It is like saying Soccer won't be mainstream until it is on the radio.

Yeah and people watch "reality TV" too! (0, Troll)

Chas (5144) | about 3 months ago | (#47532845)

Sorry. But they're not sports.

They're not.

All this is, is an attempt to fleece money out of a bunch of stooges who're too stupid to understand that watching a bunch of guys clicking away on a computer or console system is NOT a sport.

Re:Yeah and people watch "reality TV" too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47533017)

you know, that's why it's called a eSport event. On another note, the word sport dosen't mean that it's only for physical competitions.

you stooge.

Re:Yeah and people watch "reality TV" too! (1)

Chas (5144) | about 3 months ago | (#47534179)

you know, that's why it's called a eSport event. On another note, the word sport dosen't mean that it's only for physical competitions.

you stooge.

Why don't we just check a dictionary on that?

Sport (Noun)
An athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.

Hmm.

Re:Yeah and people watch "reality TV" too! (1)

ADRA (37398) | about 3 months ago | (#47533051)

Money talks and no matter how much you huff and puff about useless semantics, the world will move on and accept e-sports into the cultural fabric like so many new forms of expression and entertainment before them.

Re:Yeah and people watch "reality TV" too! (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 3 months ago | (#47533117)

Esports, as a moniker, has about as much success at winning people over as Formula-E

Re:Yeah and people watch "reality TV" too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47533679)

Well if you're going by empirical results, esports are about as popular as synchronized swimming.

Re:Yeah and people watch "reality TV" too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47533083)

It is not a sport. It is an eSport.
No one is saying it is a sport.

Re:Yeah and people watch "reality TV" too! (1)

Chas (5144) | about 3 months ago | (#47534257)

So mutual masturbation via video chat is an eFuck right?

Re:Yeah and people watch "reality TV" too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47536159)

Yes, now keep running your cocksucker. I got plenty of mod points. You've already gotten 3 from me!

Re:Yeah and people watch "reality TV" too! (1)

AnOnyxMouseCoward (3693517) | about 3 months ago | (#47533233)

I agree, playing video games is not a sport, since it doesn't involve physical prowess.

How is that relevant though? eSports is just a name, but the fact remains that people watch these things, will pay money to watch "live", and advertisers can monetize these eyeballs. That's why it's viewed like "traditional sports". Now you may think people are stupid and are paying money to watch a bunch of dudes clicking on a mouse with fingers on WASD, but hey, people watch a bunch of dudes trying to get an oblong ball from point A to point B. Different activity, same concept, and same result for corporations.

Re:Yeah and people watch "reality TV" too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47533547)

"I agree, playing video games is not a sport, since it doesn't involve physical prowess."

Except it does, it requires reflexes, hand eye co-ordination. It requires you to know maps, strategize, know weapons characteristics, their strengths and weaknesses. What paths you should take when exiting the enemy base (in CTF).

If Croquet is a sport, than vidoegames are most certainly.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croquet

Re:Yeah and people watch "reality TV" too! (1)

Wallick (1089233) | about 3 months ago | (#47533487)

Sorry. But they're not sports.

They're not.

All this is, is an attempt to fleece money out of a bunch of stooges who're too stupid to understand that watching a bunch of guys clicking away on a computer or console system is NOT a sport.

Sorry, but email is not the same as mail. It just isn't. People are too stupid to understand that pressing buttons on a keyboard is NOT the same as sending a letter through the post office.

Re:Yeah and people watch "reality TV" too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47533583)

If you consider chess and other mental competitions sport, then eSports qualify as well, especially considering many require very high reaction speeds.
Repetition does not make a statement true.

Re:Yeah and people watch "reality TV" too! (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 3 months ago | (#47534121)

I prefer the more accurate term ePenis over eSport.

--
"Once money is involved, the art & activity is almost always corrupted. Politics, Sports, Movies, Games, etc."

frist psvo7! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47532921)

Think female developers are already complaining (1)

Crashmarik (635988) | about 3 months ago | (#47533047)

About how they get harassed from gamers

http://games.slashdot.org/stor... [slashdot.org]

Can you imagine any of these people dealing with what an Umpire a Tennis Linesman, or a god forbid a Soccer Ref has to go through ?

eSports (0)

GrBear (63712) | about 3 months ago | (#47533151)

The 21st. century version of the Special Olympics.

Lame. (2, Interesting)

Moof123 (1292134) | about 3 months ago | (#47533351)

Regular sports are already a pretty obnoxious part of our society. Fandom brings out an ugly semi-repressed tribal side of people. Most sports themselves are lame and boring to watch on TV,especially when the wanker of an announcer just can't shut up and has to drone on with endless repeats of some anecdote.

Sports, like electronic games, can be a lot of fun to play, mostly awful to watch.

Stay off my lawn too.

Civility (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47533781)

Maybe it'll take off when a culture of civility joins it. No one in the mainstream wants to watch a game where most of the participants act like that one asshole in your co-ed softball league that gets way too pissed off about it.

Re:Civility (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 3 months ago | (#47534277)

a game where most of the participants act like that one asshole

Every single starcraft match I've watched has had every participant sit there like a robot with a slightly furrowed brow until the match is over. "dramatic flare" reduces your APM and lets the zerglings rush you.

The size of the purse (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47534039)

The entire purse of The International 2014 was larger than the British Open - this is one step in eSports becoming relevant.

fortune tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47534887)

fortune will hype anything that provides new business hype for large corporations...

Whether or not it's a sport is missing the point (1)

Ranbot (2648297) | about 3 months ago | (#47535053)

Arguments for or against this being a sport are all missing the point. It's an activity performed by an elite few that a large population of people want to spectate. It's a spectacle and entertainment. Whether it's a eSports, baseball, food eating competitions, the Olympics, a boxing match, poker, etc. the common denominator for them all is that enough people want to view it that that the activity becomes economically sustainable in some manner.

Super Smash Bros (1)

TehZorroness (1104427) | about 3 months ago | (#47535443)

I'm going to be competing in my first official Super Smash Bros Melee tournament (ie. paid entry, prizes) in a couple of days and have been soaking in many videos of professional tournament games over the past couple weeks. It's truly amazing to me to see the strategies and techniques that the pros employ. It takes a LOT of practice to be able to exploit a character's specific intricacies in order to optimize your offensive and defensive game. It practically gets down to the point of playing mind games with your opponent. Always being able to predict their next move (not always possible with a good opponent), or at least knowing what options they have available to them at each split second is essential. (Watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com] - a good example of professional players pushing technique to the limits)

I don't think I've ever sat in front of the computer and sucked down video after video of historic baseball footage... ore ever will.

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