The League of Legends World Championship is soon upon us and news has recently broke that ESPN will be covering the event on their online streaming service, ESPN3. If there was one event and game that would help give exposure to eSports in mainstream media, the League of Legends World Championship would be the one to do it. The coverage on ESPN3 begins Saturday October 18th at 11:30pm PT (Sunday October 19th at 2:30am ET).
The eSports community surrounding League of Legends is massive to say the least so one would think that ESPN will see some significant numbers in the viewers, at least that is what many League of Legends fans are likely hoping.
This isn't the first time ESPN3 has covered an eSPorts event either. Back in July they covered Dota 2's The International. ESPN stated afterward that they received "satisfactory viewership" from The International, meaning that they would not leave out the possibility of covering other events in the future.
Well, now that does seem to have been the case. Last year, the League of Legends World Championship had an amazing 32 million viewers. Obviously, not everyone will watch the event on ESPN3, but one would imagine that it will see a significant amount of viewers as well.
Dota 2's recent The International also brought in significant viewership at 20 million. This is not criticizing Dota 2 at all, but there is no doubt that the League of Legends community is far larger and it has continued to steadily grow over the years. Riot also released information about the amount of active players early this year with 27 million people playing Leauge of Legends daily and 67 million monthly. Those numbers definitely should grab any business' attention.
It would not be too much of a stretch to predict that this year's World Championship will set record breaking numbers.
Now the question is, what does all of this mean? ESPN's coverage does mean that mainstream media is taking more of an interest, but how will that affect eSports in the future? That is a difficult question to answer and it is something that we should all ruminate on in the comments below!