Here at TheRail, we think sports bars and restaurant operators need to show as much sports content as possible to stay competitive, and that includes the growing industry of eSports. eSports is already a huge market and is on pace to be a billion dollar industry by the end of 2017.
And the fans are rabid and want to consume as much of it as possible, watching 800 million hours worth of eSports league content on Twitch. And they're more than willing to go out to sports bars and restaurants to watch, too.
This Week in eSports is a new feature dedicated to keeping restaurant operators and managers in the know in what's happening with eSports and how they can tap into this boom industry.
AMC, Machinima create competitive gaming network
Media giant AMC and gamer culture leader Machinima have teamed up create a SVOD eSports network. The platform will be available on pay TV platforms, smart TVs, and as iOS and Android apps in Spain & Portugal. Programming will include Machinima original productions such as Street Fighter: Resurrection and eSports reality series Training Camp.
SVOD is just the latest channel dedicated to competitive gaming. Last week Sky & Virgin Media combined forces to bring 24-hour eSports station called Ginx eSports TV, which will be available online through Virgin Media. ESPN, Comcast and TBS are already showing eSports content, so the avenues are there for bars and restaurants to provide this exciting alternate content.
Could we see eSports in the Olympics one day?
Activision Blizzard's director of brand development Jay Puryear thinks so. He thinks that eSports could "take the leap to the international stage" much like how the X Games got started. Tens of thousands of fans already fill arenas to watch games like Call of Duty and as younger generations mature and the Olympics carry on, he thinks there'll be an opening to add them into the lineup.
We already see professional soccer teams recruiting eSports players and Russia has officially named eSports a sport.
The Score debuts first eSports score reporting app
The Score is a Canadian-based sports media company and they're serious about delivering the best sports content out there -- even eSports. They recently announced theScore | esports, a mobile app that will deliver multi-game news, scores and stats in the world of competitive gaming, much like they already do for the likes of the NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB, etc. This will allow the millions of eSports fans who are on the go to stay in the know.
Life as a professional competitive gamer
Sure, playing video games all day sounds like a great way to spend your time, but when there are huge prize pools at stake, gaming is all business for competitive gamers.
Damon Barlow, 22, spoke with the Huffington Post about what his life as a competitive eSports player is like, including how he got into the business, what his life is like now, and how he sees the expanding industry of competitive gaming.
The dark side of competitive gaming
Lastly, here's video Wobbles, a competitive gamer known for his hot temper and poor sportsmanship in the gaming community. In the video he talks about the pressure about being a pro eSports player and how it interacts with his battle against depression.
Are you showing eSports at your bar or restaurant? Let us know how it's going!