Esports has come a long way over the years but still have so much further to go. With no sports on, I’m shocked they haven’t taken over. I think ESPN, Fox, CBS, and all these networks completely dropped the ball on this one. So many athletes stream on Twitch and play video games. Twitch is a live streaming platform where the majority of people live stream video games. Now, I know people are saying, “Why would I want to do that when I can play it myself?” Well, you can’t shoot like Ray Allen, so you watch the NBA. It’s the same with video games. That’s an argument for another time, but I’m just saying you can’t deny the video game culture and its impact in the last couple of years. Call of Duty released a new game last October, and the league started this spring. It’s been a rocky road, but overall a hit. Gary Vee owns a team, Michael B. Jordan has invested, and they’ve had celebrity appearances such as Todd Gurley and YouTube star King Bach. CoD is a game that has been around for ages and is one of those games that would be harder to explain and portray on TV, but what about sports games?
Traditional Sports Video Games
The NBA has dabbled into the esports scene with a 2K League. Kids create their players and play with them on a team of 5, just like the real deal. They have stats, attributes, and overall playstyle, the whole nine. I think people think of the game as picking two teams, and there is that. You can do that, but the MyPlayer mode is an entirely different game. You make a whole person from scratch; Height, weight, wingspan, speed, power, vertical, player type. You want a three and D guy? Or maybe a stretch 4. You pick. I know the Celtics have a 2k team and a kid I know played for the Jazz 2K team. Why not show this on ESPN? The standings, the stats, and everything else are already there. You have all the data. You can set even lines and take bets. Ernie Johnson and the TNT boys can be the commentators too. I’m pretty sure Bleacher Report did a tourney, but that doesn’t count.
We need live commentary — “live” sports. A BUNCH of NBA players play 2K as well, so you can have them come on and talk about the game. Talk about how they played as kids, who they loved to play with too. Endless possibilities. People would have favorite players and teams. It would be just like the real deal only virtual. 2K would be the perfect game to broadcast nationally. 2K and the NHL game because the MyPlayer works the same. It would be super entertaining, people could bet, and it would be a perfect fill while we wait for sports to come back.
I just think all these networks completely missed an opportunity. Also, the people running these Esports leagues also could’ve missed out. I don’t know if they reached out or not, but someone is messing up. They could’ve made some money, change the dynamic of esports, and people could’ve had something new and exciting to watch. They let the XFL and AFL on TV. Why not put something on people who are actually good at what they do? As the tech world grows so will the Esports world. It’s only inevitable. But what a missed opportunity.
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-Mike Yebba (@amikewithmic_)