The world of eSports continues to grow as it reaches out deeper into traditional sports broadcast channels and the UK sets up it's own competitive gaming governing body.
ESPN2 to air Street Fighter V competition
As noted in our eSports primer video, eSports is found mostly on the web via streams on sites like Twitch.tv and Youtube. The genre is gaining ground in traditional broadcast channels, however. TBS and ESPN have aired a few competitions so far, and now ESPN2 will show the finals of the Street Fighter V World Championships in Las Vegas on July 17th.
Don't be surprised to see more eSports competitions hit the airwaves over the next few years. eSports fans are rabid (in a good way), have money to burn and are in your target demographic if you run a sports bar. You're crazy if you're not looking into ways to tap into their passion and enjoy the rewards.
UK launches official eSports governing body
The UK is looking to make competitive gaming a little more official. The British eSports Association (BEA) is the UK's new eSports governing body, charged with developing grassroots tournaments, support the existing pro-gaming scene and create an online portal for news and tournies. The BEA will reportedly work with the government's Department of Culture Media and Sport.
This is a little more legitimate than what the White House came out with last week, saying they would grant "sports visas" to pro-gamers. It's more inline with the stance Russia is taking, which had it's Ministry of Sports officially recognize competitive gaming as a sport.
Juventus, EA Sports team up
Juventus has become the first Italian team in history to partner with EA Sports, striking a three-year deal to make FIFA the exclusive and official video game of the team. Juventus' management team is trying to be forward thinking in their brand and development. Clearly for them, eSports is the future right now.
According to the release: "In addition to new player faces and creating Juventus Stadium through FIFA 17's brand new engine Frostbite, the partnership will see a range of cross-marketing activities during the 2016/17 season including EA SPORTS gaming pods with FIFA 17 located in Juventus Stadium, accessible before the matches and at half time, fan competitions hosted on EA and Juventus digital channels and a dedicated EA SPORTS sponsorship of the Juventus MVP of the month."