I was casually checking my Twitter feed today (can you check Twitter any other way?) and came across a fantastic article on Time about the state of eSports in America. I’m certainly a little odd in that these days I spend significantly more time watching others play games and reading about games than I actually do playing them myself (thank my new roommate and Giant Bomb for that). Even still, something about eSports has always appealed to me. As a huge Counter-Strike player in high school and Super Smash Bros. (Melee and Brawl) player in college, I have always loved pushing myself to my limits as a gamer.
These days, while I don’t make the time to play games as much as often as I would like, one thing is clear: Starcraft II is the standard-bearer in the burgeoning eSports industry. Megan Friedman and Keith Wagstaff, the authors of the article linked below, piqued my interest with an illuminating point: those kids that once watched their older siblings as they played games have grown up and, as a result, watching videogames is nothing new to them. With record attendance expected at the next MLG event and the rapid growth of TwitchTV, a site for internet streams related to the videogame industry, eSports appears poised to take off in America. While I think it’s certainly too early to project competitive gaming’s future mass-market appeal, I, for one, believe it absolutely has a place in America and will continue to grow in the near-term.
What do you guys think? Do eSports really have a future alongside traditional sports in our national consciousness or will they quietly fade into the chasms of the Internet, ultimately retaining only niche appeal?