In case you missed it this past weekend included IPL5. IPL5 stands for IGN Pro League 5. It was the 5th such event to take place. The IGN Pro League is an organization that puts together gaming tournaments is a fashion similar to the MLG. IPL was live streamed on twitch.tv and IGN’s own website. There were tons of hours of coverage with live commentary for all of the matches. However, IPL only focuses on StarCraft II and League of Legends, great games in their own right but not the only competitive game out there. I do not mean to focus on the what the IPL is for the duration of this post, if you want to look it up go for it at ign.com/ipl and check out mlgpro.com while you are at it to see the current state of esports.
The important thing is that esports are gaining popularity around the internet. There is a consumer that wants to watch other people play video games. This is clearly evident with the success of twitch.tv which is a site where any one can live stream themselves playing games. It is great fun to watch someone play your favorite game, it shows a different perspective on play style and might show you new routes or play styles. It is also fun to watch someone play a new game to see if it looks like something you would want to buy.
However, there is a void in esports. The best part about watching a sports game on television is the drama of a winner and a loser, watching your favorite player, and the competitive nature of it all. Nobody wants to watch baseball players practice their sport, which is what twitch.tv is mostly full of. Either professionals practicing in a low risk environment or amateurs playing a game for fun. I’m not saying that this is bad, but its not esports.
I want to see more competition, more drama, and more commentators. I would love to see a season for Halo, with all of my favorite teams competing on a regular basis, leading up to a post season of sorts with one team crowned champion. It would be great to follow these teams as they pick up new players or old players get better.
The current state of esports is that MLG or IPL showcase one big tournament every once and while with all the big teams and one winner goes home with a big prize pool. But I want to see a season last months, with regular matches multiple times a week. Commentators should be involved, to make it more interesting for the fans and stats should be kept, like kills for a season, deaths, assists, and wins of course.
The esport community needs to expand. A big tournament every few months is great. But what about those of us who want to watch matches regularly? Streaming more matches is one option that I think could have great success as more and more people are interesting in watching professionals play video games.