Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why eSports Matters

Audience at Starcraft 2 finals of MLG Anahiem 2011
Recently I have been enthralled by sudden growth of the international competitive gaming scene, but I still cringe when some claim that eSports will explode into mainstream popularity. While gaming itself has now embedded itself into mainstream culture, competitive gaming has not reached the same level because it remains a niche pastime for the minority of the population. Despite the presence of gaming consoles in almost every household, we will not be seeing "Halo: Reach" or "Starcraft 2" tournament replays sharing airtime with conventional sports on any of the popular network channels. The diversity and vast scope of mainstream gaming is not compatible with the narrow focus of competitive gaming, and any attempts to introduce it into the mainstream awareness are bound for failure.

So is eSports a lost cause destined to burn out with the trends and fads of yesteryear? Actually, no. What makes eSports unique is that it does not need the mainstream to grow, and if it continues the rapid momentum it has built up over most of 2011 it can easily become a global juggernaut in online entertainment.