There's too much to watch this weekend in the world of esports. And that's a good thing.
A couple of years back, there was a major issue in the Starcraft II community when a global event was scheduled on top of the biggest Dota 2 event of the year, The International. The SC2 community was not pleased and viciously voiced its displeasure on forums and social media.
Blizzard eventually responded, remarking the difficulty of finding a weekend when there was not some form of major esports event in this day and age. It didn't do much to sate the community, but it was a first red flag that there might be too much esports content on any given weekend.
Wait, too much esports content?
That doesn't make any sense, right?
Well yeah actually, but there was a long time where fans viewed esports as a finite pool of viewers, and when events were scheduled at the same time the viewership would be split.
Nowadays that's not as much of an issue, and it's good to see that this mindset of "too many events" on a given weekend is gone. Now, esports is more like traditional sports. Just like there are fans of baseball, football, etc., now esports is primarily composed of people who are less overall esports fans and more CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends, etc. fans.
This is actually a really healthy sign for the industry. If fans are so numerous that there can be multiple large events across the world on a given weekend, it means the industry might be truly sustainable and can weather the crash of any one particular game.
And this weekend is evidence of just that. There is a major international LoL, Overwatch, and SC2 event in South Korea at IEM GyeongGi, a televised qualifier for the next CS:GO major by ELEAGUE in Atlanta, and TWO major Hearthstone events, one in Asia and one in Europe.
That's beautiful. It means the industry is more like sports than ever.
Honestly, as the industry continues to put on more and more small events, eventually esports will approximate the broadcast schedule of sports, where multiple networks and leagues are running concurrently.
With major deals signed lately, like $300 million guaranteed to Riot until 2023 by BAMTech, broadcast rights are going to continue to become more and more important. And with those rights being sold for hundreds of millions of dollars already, expect dedicated esports channels on TV and in major online networks in the next year.
More esports influencing from Knocke: Don't force map rotations | Please, use Swiss-style tournament format | Buying and selling LCS spots is bad for business