Global sports news network ESPN has launched an eSports site dedicated to “deliver[ing] comprehensive coverage surrounding the world of competitive gaming.”
ESPN’s eSports site offers daily coverage of industry news, match results, and profiles for prominent players, along with long-form content exploring the market’s history and sudden explosive growth.
This week’s site launch marks a significant expansion for ESPN’s existing competitive gaming coverage. Previously, the network aired live coverage of BlizzCon and The International Dota 2 Championships on ESPN3, and has featured eSports-focused content in its print publications.
ESPN signed on a fleet of industry veterans to launch its eSports site earlier today, including former Azubu managing editor Darin Kwilinski, Major League Gaming social media director Rod Breslau, and Team Liquid’s Tyler Erzberger.
“Today’s launch – anchored by the influential voices of Darin Kwilinski, Rod Breslau and Tyler Erzberger – is our latest push to reach and connect with this growing and passionate audience,” ESPN.com editor-in-chief Chad Millman stated. “Fans will find the same level of quality content and journalism that users of ESPN.com have come to expect, including in-depth looks at the competitive gaming world and on-site reporting from the major tournaments.”
ESPN’s entry into the world of eSports coverage follows up on recent industry buy-ins from multiple gaming publishers. Electronic Arts launched a dedicated Competitive Gaming Division in December, while publisher Activision Blizzard announced its intention to form “the ESPN of eSports” with its recent purchase of the Major League Gaming platform and network.
eSports coverage has also been a focus for cable television networks in response to accelerated market growth. Disney XD produced a pair of specials last year centering around competitive play in Nintendo-published titles, and TBS will air full-season Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament broadcasts starting this year.