Another big step has come yet again to eSports. After the success of The International Dota 2 Championship, sports network ESPN was pleased by its broadcast and looks to air more eSports events in the future, according to an unnamed source close to ESPN.
?ESPN was delighted,? the source told The Daily Dot. ?ESPN has seen enough recent successes with eSports and are about to double down. The numbers they hit with The International have only cemented the view that the time is right.?
The recently concluded The International was an annual Dota 2 tournament organized by Valve. The event featured 19 teams from around the globe to compete for a prize pool of nearly $11 million with a $5 million first place prize. The grand final was held last July 21 where we saw Team Newbee from China emerging as the champions. The entire coverage of the main event was broadcasted on the ESPN3 channel and a special documentary was also shown on ESPN2.
The viewership numbers exceeded the expectations across the board, the source said. Interestingly for a PC game, the Xbox was the top viewing platform during the broadcast.
Aside from Dota 2, ESPN previously collaborated with Major League Gaming (MLG) on the Call of Duty League during the Austin X Games. MLG boss Michael Sepso said the collaboration wouldn?t be a ?one-time thing,? although no games were broadcasted on any ESPN channels.
This time around, things are looking to transpire.
?They are in advanced talks to bring that product to both ESPN web properties as well as their TV stations, and they are in the preliminary stages of looking at other games,? the source said. It is still unclear though on when the deals will be signed.
“ESPN3 has carried similar events in the past, including MLG and EA,? a representative from ESPN added. ?We recognized The International as an opportunity to deliver a championship event, but have not committed to any other eSports coverage at this time.”