The eSports Push

5/6/2005

Written by: David “de.LiGHT” Light

Artwork by AZTK

The following is a community-submitted editorial and does not necessarily represent the opinions of GotFrag or its advertisers 

It seems that every day there is another article about the progression of eSports and the factors holding it back. Words like maturity, sponsorship, acceptance, and consistency are thrown about like wildfire, yet nothing has changed to really push the community to the next level. Why is this? The recent article “CLOUTIER” brought up good points. Summarized in one word the article is all about money. Excuses are rampant in the eSports world yet rarely has anyone taken the initiative to actually offer a suggestion to the problem. It is known what the problems are, and with this article I hope to offer insight into what can be done to obtain the changes needed to give eSports more exposure.

The biggest issue is obviously that there are very few people that stand to gain from the growth of Counter-strike and eSports in general. It’s not like football or baseball where team marketing is bringing in mass revenues. The potential for this to happen for eSports is not there…or so one might think.

At a recent tournament (which was not even considered a top ten tournament) there were over twenty thousand HLTV spectators for a single match involving team NiP. A match that was not even a semi-finals or finals match. Compare this to the CPL, which has reached over fifty thousand plus spectators for a single match. For that to of taken place, twenty thousand people had to of had a computer, had to have Steam installed, had to have Counter-Strike installed, had to been aware of the competitive scene, had to of found the tournament date and the match time, had to of fit the time into their schedule, had to of found the address for the HLTV server, had to have started up Steam, had to have started up Counter-Strike, had to have connected to the HLTV server, and then had to have waited through twenty minutes of pre-game frags. All of this to sit through and watch what would be anywhere from a thirty to forty-five minute match. Now if there are twenty thousand people willing to do all of that in order to watch one match that their favorite team was playing in at a small tournament, then realizing the marking potential is easy.

Imagine what Valve could do if people are willing to go through all of that just to watch a thirty to forty-five minute match on their computer (add on to that the fact that the game is supposedly dated). Just imagine what eSports could be pushed to if the media coverage was there. Imagine if it was made easier to watch matches and keep track of favorite teams and if tournaments were shown on ESPN, G4TV, Fox, and CBS (note that every station is looking for new “cutting edge” programming). Picture what it could become with the right exposure. Imagine what the community would stand to gain: pioneers to a new and unique brand of sports, eSports, and a variety of game(s) at the forefront of the battle. There would be money and security to do what many have always wanted to do with their games and companies. The pros out punch the cons by a mile, the bet is just right for the pot. Do not forget that the average “Joe-Pubber” is more than psyched to find his favorite game is on TV.

It’s up to Valve to push it to the next level. Gotfrag?, TSN, and the community can only take it so far. We need Valve’s help. With all that the company knows now, you need to ask yourself… Is the juice worth the squeeze?

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