Gold Medals, Awards Nominations, & more COD: It’s been a big week for eSports
In the last few years, eSports have become an industry unto themselves. There are events year round with huge prizes on the line, mainstream channels like ESPN are covering them, award shows are springing up around them, etc., etc. If you still need convincing of the reach and importance of eSports, look no further than this week, which had a several major, high-profile eSports announcements.
And if you‘re looking for a primer on the eSports industry, our friends at www.hannaseo.com have a good breakdown of how it all works.
2022 Asian Games
More and more, eSports are being seen as legitimate sports alongside many other sports that are steeped in athleticism as opposed to technology and hand-eye-coordination. Several colleges are even beginning to offer scholarships for student-athletes to compete in various gaming competitions, but this is one of the biggest pushes toward legitimizing eSports in the eyes of traditional sports fans yet.
Earlier this week, the Olympic Council of Asia announced that eSports will appear at the 2018 Asian games as a “demonstration event,” then in 2022, eSports will then be an official medal event at the games held in Hangzhou, China. The Asian Games are second only to the Olympics in terms of multi-sport competitions; in the 2014 games, more than 10,000 athletes participated.
A list of the actual games to be played hasn’t been released yet – and given that the medal games won’t be held for five years yet, the odds are that whatever game they will play hasn’t even been released yet. Even if it is a familiar game or franchise, the actual version of the game to be played probably hasn’t been released yet.
Esports will also be part of the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games later this year, although the only game mentioned so far is FIFA 2017.
H1Z1: Fight for the Crown
Tonight, April 20, an hour long eSports event, H1Z1: Fight for the Crown, will air on the CW Network. The special will highlight the first official team-based H1Z1: King of the Hill eSports tournament.
The special will feature 15 teams competing for a $300,000 prize pool. The competition is made up of established pro gaming teams, featuring 75 players fighting it out in a massive, single-elimination shooter to see who the last person/team standing is.
A second behind-the-scenes show following NBA player Rick Fox’s eSports team, Echo Fox, will air separately on the online channel CW Seed. The game is also on sale via Steam for $11.99 through April 24 to celebrate the special.
Esports Industry Awards Nominations
Tonight on Twitch on the Esports Industry Awards Twitch Channel, the 2016 eSports Industry Awards nominees will be announced. Esports pioneers and industry experts will join together to look back at the last year and discuss the biggest moments in the rising genre.
The show will stream live from the UK at 9pm GMT. If you can’t watch the show when it airs, you can follow it on the show’s official twitter account, @eSportsIA.
Call of Duty Global Pro League
The Call of Duty series is currently one of the largest eSports franchises in the world, with annual leagues and multiple events all leading up to a cumulative championship event where the winners split a prize purse well over $1 million. It’s a wildly popular eSports game, and the 2016 Call of Duty League Championship tournament crushed all previous records in terms of viewership.
With the popularity continuing to rise, Activision announced that it is expanding its annual championship league series with the first ever Call of Duty World League Global Pro League. The CWL event will begin on Friday, April 21, and run for 10 weeks broken into two five-week blocks. Sixteen of the top Call of Duty teams from around the world will compete in two stages, each stage offering a $700,000 prize purse. The results will also affect the seedings in the CWL Championship held later this year, where a $1.5 million prize purse is on the line.
The first stage will take place over the next five weeks in Columbus, Ohio, with the second stage beginning on June 29. The teams competing are some of the most well-known eSports teams in the world, and they hail from North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. Each team earned their way in through months of competitions in the CWL.
The event is sponsored by PlayStation 4, and fans can attend the live shows if they are in, or want to make the trip to Columbus. For the rest of us, it will be live-streamed on MLG.tv.