Does Esports Have a Future in Movie Theaters?

The Electronic Sports League is creating worldwide cinematic event with the launch of Esports in Cinema in July. 

TopTechNews is reporting that the Esports juggernaut ESL will be launching a worldwide cinematic event this summer. Esports in Cinema will kick off with a documentary made by Christime O’Malley and Patrick Creadon, which will be followed by a Q&A done in front of a live studio audience from their studios in Burbank, California. The event is set to launch on July 23rd in the Americas and on July 28th in Europe and Asia.

Can Esports draw a big enough crowd to fill up a movie theater?

Given that millions of people tune in online to watch the experience from Twitch at home, I’d wager a healthy amount of them would love to go watch it live to feel even more immersed in the community. After all, an exciting experience like the LCS, SWC, or the International is made infinitely more fun by sharing the experience with friends or or other fans.

While Esports broadcasts may not make as much money as an NFL or NBA game at first, I expect them to draw a crowd that is plenty big.

Why would people pay to watch Esports when they can watch it at home for free?

For the same reasons people pay to watch a basketball or football game live: You want to feel like you’re part of the experience. Granted you’re not actually in the stadium, but you’re in a comfortable seat sharing the experience with friends, and that makes it worth the price of admission.

What kind of Esports are going to be in theaters?

Right now it looks like Counter Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, and DotA 2 are the heavy hitters. Given that these games have a die-hard competitive following, expect to see a lot of these show up in theaters. I would be absolutely shocked if the World Championships for LoL weren’t broadcast to theaters around the world, and the same for DotA 2.

I’d expect to see Smite and Heroes of the Storm take their place in cinemas after they gain a bigger foothold in the industry as well.

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