Professional video game tournaments — or eSports — have been a big deal in the gaming community for a while. Despite that, fans must watch matches and events via the internet instead of a traditional TV. That’s because games haven’t been considered mainstream yet, at least not as much as say a football game or basketball finals.
That may be about to change.
The Grand Finals of Heroes of the Dorm, a collegiate gaming tournament, will be held this Sunday, April 26 at the Shrine Expo Hall in Los Angeles. The tournament is the culmination of a long battle between collegiate teams, as they face off in Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm.
As Blizzard says:
“Our Heroic Four teams have bashed and brawled their way through weeks of competition, as well as teams hailing from hundreds of schools across North America, to reach the Heroic Four — but only one can emerge victorious. Join us in-person, or online, to cheer on the Heroic Four as they seek to earn ultimate glory in the Nexus, and win free college tuition along the way.”
What’s So Interesting About an eSports Tournament?
Perhaps, the most interesting thing about the tournament is that it’s being delivered by ESPN. Yep, that ESPN. The same one that hosts professional sports games.
Both the Heroic Four and Grand Finals will be televised on ESPN’s channels for those who want to watch.
For the Heroic Four:
Don’t worry if you won’t be able to attend the event in-person — we’ve got you covered! You can always watch the Heroic Four duke it out from the comfort of your own home on ESPN3 via WatchESPN.com, as well as on smartphones and tablets using the WatchESPN app. You can even stream the show on your television through Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
Additionally, players in Canada can tune in to all of Sunday’s live Heroic Four action via The Sports Network.
Then, for the Grand Finals:
Once our Heroic Four matches conclude, the online broadcast at ESPN 3 will come to an end, and we’ll switch over to ESPN 2, where Millions of homes nationwide will be able to tune in to catch the Grand Finals LIVE on prime time TV!
If you have a cable network subscription, you can still tune in to ESPN2 viaWatchESPN.com, as well as on smartphones and tablets using the WatchESPN app. Once again, you’ll also be able to stream the show on your television through Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
Pop some popcorn, collapse into a comfy seat, and flip your TV to ESPN2 at 6:30 p.m. Pacific / 9:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday to find out which collegiate team will be crowned the Heroes of the Dorm.
The televised event will be hosted by Michele Morrow (Basement Jack, and Blizzard fame), with casters including Manuel “Grubby” Schenkhuizen, Sean “Day9″ Plott, Dan “Artosis” Stemkoski, Nick “Tasteless” Plott and Tim “Trikslyr” Frazier. Just in case you don’t recognize the rest of those names, they’re all prominent eSports players.
Why Is This a Big Deal?
Obviously, Blizzard struck a deal with ESPN to get the event televised but it’s still excellent news. If the broadcast of the Heroes of the Dorm tournament ends up reeling in a good number of viewers there’s a higher chance we’ll see more professional gaming content in the future.
Is it possible that eSports will finally get the rap it deserves outside of the gaming community?