In an age where mainstream media is usually very bumbling and vapid when discussing video games – usually focusing on “omg so violent” and “these are ruining your kids’ brains!” while the reporters no doubt wag their canes and tell us to get off their lawns – it’s very nice to see some positive press and serious reporting going into video games. Enter CBS, stage left, with their honest perception on e-sports which appeared on their Sunday Morning segment.
John Blackstone took the time to research the growth of e-sports as a legitimate sport in the modern gaming landscape. The e-sports piece focused particularly on an American perspective, as well on the ever-rising popularity of Starcraft II, Hearthstone, and Blizzard in particular, with extra emphasis on this year’s BlizzCon, which had a monumental push toward all things e-sports. The CBS piece also touch on the resounding successes of MOBAs by addressing League of Legends as well, which sold out the Staples Center in Los Angeles last year for their World Championship. There was one exchange between Blackstone and Michael Pachter, an analyst in the game industry, that was particularly funny and illuminating for the older audience that frequents CBS:
Blackstone: I think I’m too old to understand what’s going on in online gaming.
Pachter: You probably are.
Blackstone: I can understand people watching a golf game. I can’t understand people watching somebody play a computer game.
Pachter: …My wife can’t understand people watching a golf game because she’s not a golfer. […] When you’re into something like League of Legends, which has 93 million monthly, unique players… there are a lot of people… who want to watch the best people in the world playing the game.
Very well said, Mr. Pachter. It’s no doubt something as big as e-sports video games – let’s be real, this is a legitimized sport in the US now, as addressed by the legal system – is going to make major waves. As cited in the piece, the World Championship of League of Legends had 27 million unique, viewers dwarfing the World Series of baseball, which had only 14 million viewers. That’s a big deal.
The piece also has interviews with Nadeshot, famed Call of Duty pro-gamer with OpTic Gaming as well as Firebat – AKA James Kostesich – the 2014 world champion of Hearthstone playing with Team Archon. Couple that with Twitch employee interviews, interviews with physical trainers who do real physical training with e-sports athletes, Blizzard executives, and more, you get a great piece of reporting that deserves praise, and a great and balanced perspective on gaming from the mainstream. This is the video to show your parents and grumpy relatives who constantly tell you that video games are just toys for kids.