GUEST POST BY: @WOLF6_ACTUAL
Dustin is an ‘all things nerdy’ enthusiast who enjoys spending time at awesome conventions, eSports tournaments and contributing to KeepItNerdy.com.
Move over BJ Baldwin and Bob Burnquist, eSports and Major League Gaming (MLG) are coming to the X-Games. The top 8 teams in Call of Duty (CoD) are coming to the Austin X-Games this June. Out of all sports to have landed in the X-Games, sorry paintballers, they have chosen eSports and the MLG to help them bring it to the true next level. They are going to start with Call of Duty which is the most user-friendly game to watch and cheer on in a live event. You don’t really have to “get it” to cheer for a guy who is running, gunning, sprinting, crawling and knifing for objective points.
I talked to Scott “SirScoots” Smith at WonderCon a few weekends ago about Call of Duty in particular and it’s popularity. The main point that Scott brought up as it’s EXTREMELY popular in the United States but only growing popularity in Europe whereas Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) has a much larger appeal not just in the United States but overseas as well. Well MLG and CoD may have filled that gap. Using the vast popularity of the X-Games this may be the additional push CoD needed to become the go-to First Person Shooter of eSports.
This is perfect timing for MLG and CoD players as the World Championships just wrapped up at the very end of March. The X-Games brings a summer tournament while the Championships are in the winter. This creates the year-round profit stream for players to push CoD to the next level.
What does this partnership mean for the future of eSports?
Well due to the demographics of the X-Games this gives a chance for sport video games to really get in the eSports world. I don’t see games like DOTA2 or Hearthstone being played with the X-Games but imagine a really cool snowboarding or skateboarding game being played out, that could be a reality. Fighting games could also find a place in the future X-Games eSports realm. Anything with the “WOW” factor. This could also raise some attention for some other sports leagues and tournaments. UFC is notorious for keeping things in-house and we could see some crossover with the UFC conventions and UFC video game. Madden has also been huge in the eSports scene and there could be even more pumped into that from the NFL.
Either way, this is BIG news for the eSports world and the continued growth of the MLG and mainstream sports recognizing eSports.