WTF?!?! – E-Sports on TV

Will Blanton

If you are one of the keyboard warriors that saw the 2016 EVOlution World Championship aired on ESPN, then deciding to go full blown “Dude-Bro-Mode” and bitch on Twitter when you can’t seem to get your sports fix…this isn’t the article for you. I’m about to go over the positives of E-Sports on mainstream television. If you happen to have a problem with this, or any other article that I have written and want to have a discussion about it, feel free to send me a tweet on twitter, @H2OHappydude and even tag it with #WillSucks. I’ll gladly have a conversation, but just be warned, I’m not down with stupid people.

The move to have Evolution on a nation wide platform has got to be one of the best moves as a whole for E-Sports even though the Street Fighter 5 Top 8, which got a peak viewership of two-hundred and eight thousand on ESPN 2, was being beaten in the viewership wars on the same day (July 7th 2016). The previous attempt was the “2015 Heroes of the Dorm Tournament” for Blizzard’s “Heroes of the Storm” which drew a .1 on the Nelson Ratings while the Dude-Bros lost their collective fucking minds when collegiate teams were trying to get college tuition paid for FOR LIFE. The only issues was that both events, including the 2016 Heroes of the Dorm and 2017-2019 EVO Top 8 Sunday events, was the lack of advertising.

The advertisements were left either by word of mouth or hearing the commentary talking about it being simulcasting on cable television WHILE THE EVENT IS GOING ON! The promotions were horrible. I can compare this to Extreme Championship Wrestling as the promotions on TNN were non-existent as the diehard, hardcore fans were the only ones that knew about it being on TV to begin with. To some extent the Overwatch league has some of the same issues as they reached one-hundred twenty-seven thousand viewers at its peak during the Season One PLAYOFFS on Disney XD. I had no clue that they were even simulcasting it either. The networks, as a whole, failed to bring in viewers all the way from the CGS (2007-2008), WCG (2009-2010) all the way to the EVO Championship Sunday and the Overwatch League. The only way I knew that some of these events even occurred, was due to watching highlight clips on YouTube after the fact.

The TV Stations aren’t the only ones at fault, as I can point out a few flaws that can be fixed on Blizzard’s side of things with the Overwatch League. According to the official Season 2 opening week announcements, they had Match 1 (Hangzhou Spark Vs. Shanghai Dragons) at 11:30 PM EST on Thursday night, a 3:00PM EST start time for Match 2 (Houston Outlaws vs. Boston Uprising)  and a 4:30 PM Start time for Match 3 (Philadelphia Fusion Vs. Atlanta Reign). Blizzard, heed my call. If you are going to have 3 matches every week, start a hour early with the leagues official pre-show “WatchPoint” to show highlights and have exclusive content on TV that you can’t get on Twitch! You aren’t giving me incentive to watch on TV, yet when you are giving people more of a incentive to watch on Twitch with Overwatch League skin giveaways, you are basically stabbing yourself in the fucking foot at this point.

There’s a lot of people that want to see this survive, however promotion is the key to get things going! And…Hey, Blizzard? STOP FUCKING YOUR OWN ASS!!!

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