ESPN website opens new section for eSports

ESPN is diving further into the realm of eSports by opening a dedicated section on ESPN.com and recruiting a full-time staff devoted to covering Dota 2, League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and more.

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There's been talk over the past couple of years about this idea of "The ESPN of eSports." Turner Broadcasting recently announced its intentions to get into the eSports game. Meanwhile, Major League Gaming was recently picked up by Activision Blizzard. But there's only one true entity that can be called the ESPN of eSports and that's ESPN itself.

This morning, ESPN launched a dedicated eSports Twitter account, hired on dedicated eSports writers, and unveiled a section devoted to eSports on ESPN.com. The network known as the Worldwide Leader in Sports will now devote some of its resources towards covering games like Dota 2, League of Legends, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

"The business of watching gamers play has grown so fast that up to 200 players are making at least $40,000 in prize winnings as professional gamers, according to Tobias Sherman, who heads up WME/IMG's esports operation," ESPN.com senior writer Darren Rovell notes in his latest column. "And that number is growing. To put the $40,000 in perspective, it's about what the 150th-ranked men's tennis player and 330th-ranked golfer in the world gross a year.

Among those that will be covering eSports on ESPN.com include Rod Breslau, Tyler 'Fionn' Erzberger, and Darin Kwilinski. The move towards eSports is not entirely surprising for ESPN, as it has covered Dota 2's The International on its streaming ESPN3 channel and has also broadcast finals for Heroes of the Storm and Dota 2 on ESPN 2. While some of ESPN's own personalities have been quick to decry eSports coverage, the biggest critics have moved on from the network and ESPN itself has struggled in an increasingly digital age.

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Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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