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From the Stream to the Ocean

November 18th, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

E-sports has particularly taken off in the last few years, driven largely by such streaming websites as twitch.tv and justin.tv. Given that e-sports main point of accessibility is the internet, it should come as no surprise that services should develop that drive this standard, and make it more and more conventional and accessible. Where once YouTube videos might be the best way to view large gaming events, these were merely recaps of the events of tournaments and championship matches that had already passed; it was previously impossible to witness events as they happened, without being their yourself.

And yet, demand grew, and with it, people began to seriously pay attention to the methods of distribution of content. Sites like Twitch and Justin opened up, and began to attract streamers. But game developers have started to pay attention to this as well. Introduced some time ago, Riot’s Spectator Mode for League of Legends allows people to observe games currently being played. You can either chose to spectate any game on your friends list or any of the “Featured” games, though how they come to this determination is as of yet unknown.

Other games, notably Starcraft, utilize these websites as well, but only Riot has bothered to build in the streaming functionality into their games, and this suggests that they are perhaps better prepared to deal with the future of this growing sport.

This is the start of a larger trend, and perhaps a larger post, but I’d appreciate a bit more feedback. Do you think that e-sports have a viable future? What else could streaming do for video games?

Give us your thoughts, either by comment or by email, and suggest some topics for future posts!

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  1. Bret
    November 18th, 2012 at 19:14 | #1

    I think e-sports are already ‘viable’ if this past Blizzard World Championship going on this weekend is any indication. If you mean, ‘have as much sponsorship and air time as more traditional sports’ then no, it will never reach the same level of the NFL or MBA.

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