My friend Alex sent us this message today:
What's going on here? Well, BlizzCon is happening today! BlizzCon is a video game convention held by Blizzard Entertainment to promote its major franchises Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch (wikipedia).
You can stream much of the action online via Twitch. I didn't do that today. But 2 years ago, three of us gathered in an apartment to watch video games all day. Three grown-ups with adult jobs planning meals and drinks around a video game event. Well, we had a blast. And it was a great way to socialize around something light. Oh, wait... isn't it what sports fans do? Yes.
So I'm quite long eSports (it's not a stock, I know...). Not because I play much video games. I used to, though. And that's exactly the point. The games I grew up playing are now being played by world-class players and the games broadcasted for free. The casters are good, funny and smart. The production quality is almost as good as big sports. And all the stats are instant. And it's a lot of fun to watch with friends.
I think video games, and consequently eSports as entertainment, is vastly underestimated. When you think about it, you don't even need stats to understand why. Because it's socially unaccepted to be a video games enthusiast. It's the opposite of something that goes viral. You have no incentive to tell someone you play/watch video games. So people gather privately, or online. But the communities are growing organically, year over year. And it's getting harder and harder to ignore it.
I'll write about eSports from an analytical point of view in future posts. For now. I just wanted to wish a good BlizzCon to all the players and watchers out there.
And maybe plant a seed in your head so you go and google stats about eSports!