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eSports to compare with NFL in the future

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Major League Gaming (MLG) president, Mike Sepso, believes that eSports has a major advantage over other professional sports – rather than relying on traditional broadcasting, eSports lives in the internet age.

As he explains:

“People under 24 don’t have cable. If you sell your rights to ESPN and Fox and CBS and ABC and NBC, how are you going to reach 24-and-younger viewers?” Sepso explained. “You can’t get five million people to tune in for three hours on television, and the reality is 80 percent of our audience doesn’t have a cable subscription, so how are they going to watch? Why force the audience to go somewhere that’s not native to them, right? Our sport happens on the internet. We should broadcast it on the internet.”

Sepso predicts that within five years, if eSports continues to grow at this rate (which seems reasonable to assume), MLG will be somewhere between baseball and NASCAR in popularity – in ten years he predicts it will be as popular as NFL (American football).  So, maybe in a few years time we’ll see an E3 presentation where Geoff can be just as confused about who the eSports pros are as he is about the sports heroes paraded on stage. (Ed’s note: He already is)

What about South Africa?  Do you think eSports will garner the same level of popularity as rugby or cricket?  Do you think high schools will start having eSports teams for extra-murals?  Hmm, now I’m wondering if they’ll do gender segregation – the girls teams will play LoL while the boys play Dota 2?

Last Updated: July 4, 2013


  1. Trevor Davies

    July 4, 2013 at 09:58

    I’m happy that eSports is growing because it’s good for gaming, but it’s probably not something I’ll ever watch on a regular basis. For me, just watching someone else moving pixels around on a screen lacks the immediacy of a physical sport.


    • Sir Twakkus

      July 4, 2013 at 10:24

      Agree completely but I do think things will change in the future. We grew up where physical sports dominated the scene and do not always appreciate the level of skill of getting a certain build just right in SC, even a quick headshot in COD or team play needed in BF (though personally I feel ARMA needs much more team tactics). It is something I can understand but don’t always appreciate while in the future it will probably be totally different for newer generations.


  2. Alwyn Venter

    July 4, 2013 at 10:02

    I love the prediction. e-Sports is growing at an alarming rate and I can’t wait for the day I can attend a proper Barcraft or event the size of Dreamhack in South Africa.


    • Zoe

      July 4, 2013 at 10:06

      i remember there was a barcraft event at the dros by rAge a few years back. wish they would do something similar again… but better. 🙂


    • Matthew Holliday

      July 4, 2013 at 10:26

      Organised Chaos in Cape Town is already the biggest monthly LAN in the Southern Hemisphere.
      Rage in JHB is also a pretty big deal, its no dreamhack, but still, something to consider.

      thirteen thirty-seven is a new bar that will be opening up soon that showcases livestreams of games during the night and potentially exhibition matches in the future when they get their own venue.

      we’re there man.
      Just need to look.


      • Alwyn Venter

        July 4, 2013 at 11:43

        Thanks for sharing. Know of any places in Jo’burg?


        • Matthew Holliday

          July 4, 2013 at 14:13

          Im from Cape Town, if it wasnt for RAGE, I wouldnt even believe Joburg exists.
          so unfortunately not hey


          • Alwyn Venter

            July 4, 2013 at 14:33

            Haha! Yeah. One would think that because we are the business hub we should be leading on many more fronts. Sadly, we don’t. It has been something I have been toying with (partnering with a restaurant to screen some e-Sport games). Not sure what attendance would be like though.

  3. Matthew Holliday

    July 4, 2013 at 10:04

    ya sure, I dont really even watch tv anymore.
    If i could stream NFL without adverts, quite easilly and hassle free, I might watch NFL.

    gender segregation sounds silly, if a girl can compete, she’ll compete.

    there are already a few highschools that have esports teams, 2 of them took part in joberg for the dota 2 SA colours.

    as for whether it will be more popular than rugby, who knows, it is already a more popular spectator sport among the youth than rugby is, but there will always be rugby.


  4. RinceWind

    July 4, 2013 at 10:18

    I think this is awesome. Why not make a sport where tactics is the key to winning as important as the size of your muscles? To me it is a far more democratic sport. Some are born with perfect bkdies like me, some call me Herculean in stature, but some aren’t. Trololo. But seriously. If you are playing with brain power over brawn, awesome. Just needs to be a game I’m totally into.


    • Trevor Davies

      July 4, 2013 at 10:38

      bkdies? Is that short for bikini bodies? And how were you born with one?


      • RinceWind

        July 4, 2013 at 10:47

        I’m a special? 0-o


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