Don't be surprised that ESPN 2 aired Dota 2 coverage
Sunday night at 11:30 EDT, ESPN 2 aired a preview show for the Grand Finals of the Dota 2 tournament The International. The show followed a format similiar to various other talking head preview shows the network airs: panelists at a desk in an empty arena, interviews with stars, and predictions made at the end of the show.
The "general public" didn't seem too happy about this.
Image source: IMGUR
For comparison's sake, the reaction to ESPN airing soccer wasn't much better.
Do you know what, though? We shouldn't be surprised by the fact that ESPN is giving eSports the spotlight. Nevermind the fact that video games are, you know, an incredibly popular hobby. Let's consider the fact that Fox Sports Radio has been touting a skateboard competition for the past month as if its the next big thing. Let's consider the prize pool involved with The International 4. Let's consider the growing popularity of the eSports scene and the insane enthusiasm shown by its fans.
Granted, let's also consider the fact that this is a pretty slow period in the world of sports right now. Still, considering all of the attention both Dota 2 and The International 4 are getting, as well as the continued trend of gaming to become more and more mainstream, it makes perfect sense for ESPN to test the waters and see how their coverage is received.
Jake is about to play some Dota 2 right now. There's no way he'll be as good as the teams from The International, though. If you're up for a game, let him know @hop3less.