Valve’s Dota 2 and other so-called multiplayer online battle arena games are among the most popular in professional eSports, but they’re not so easy to follow. Counter-Strike, a first-person shooter, is something even your grandparents can understand.
Professional video gaming has taken another leap forward toward mainstream attention as basic cable channel TBS will broadcast its native own eSports championship next year featuring Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Atlanta-based Turner Broadcasting and WME/IMG have formed an as-of-yet unnamed eSports league that will feature players duking out in Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and will be broadcasted on TBS through 2016.
Counter-Strike: GO is a safe choice for cable. While eSports is growing by the minute, it’s still difficult for the general mainstream to wrap their heads around. Earlier this year, ESPN aired “Heroes of the Dorm,” a special pitting college-aged players of Heroes of the Storm against each other. The network received flack from sports fans confused over competitive video games.
“There’s no doubt in our mind that this is a sport,” said Lenny Daniels, head of Turner Sports to Variety. “It’s competitive, and it requires endurance … What hasn’t happened is that it hasn’t been exposed to a mainstream audience.”
According to the press release, the broadcasts will have a regular season akin to traditional sports with playoffs and a crowning championship. The plan features 10 consecutive weeks of Friday night broadcasts occurring twice per year.
And because it’s 2016, a.k.a. The Future, digital content offering views behind the scenes and player profiles will be pushed onto mobile platforms, with an emphasis on Bleacher Report’s app, Team Stream.
Teams, competitors, schedules, locations, announcers, and on-air personalities are expected to be announced by Turner and WMG/IME in the following months.