HBO’s Real Sports segment, which purports to show you what happens behind the score board and “off the field,” took some time out from its usual coverage of real world action, to instead focus on esports, interviewing key players in the League of Legends pro scene, people at Riot Games and a commentator for MLG.
Fortunately an intrepid viewer managed to record it and get it up on Youtube. It probably won’t be there forever so watch it now while you can:[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ2nbJoB-DA’]
If you can’t watch it now, or at just late to the party and it’s been pulled, it is/was actually pretty good. It starts off with a little jab at gamers not getting out much and being nerds, but as with a lot of stereotypes, there is some truth to that one. However it quickly ramps up to highlighting how regardless of what the average American thinks of pro video gaming, lots of people like it – more people than baseball if the coverage’s stats are to be believed.
Interviews follow with Redbeard at Riot, Scarra from Team Dignitas and Mike Puckett from MLG’s broadcasting team (who even sheds a few tears at one point). They discuss the esports scene and often League of Legends specifically, describing how it’s popularity has grown thousands of per cent over the past few years and how professional players are now easily earning six figure salaries. Our own news monkey Matt, recently highlighted this by reporting on pro player Ocelote and how he is pulling in almost a million dollars a year.
Other interesting parts of the report cover amateur teams that are putting all their money behind their gaming efforts and hope to make it to the pros sometime next year, and those that have been granted the rare athlete visas that have allowed professionals from around the world to travel to America and train with their teams in person.
KitGuru Says: Esports aren’t quite the mainstream professions that they will one day become, but they’re getting there and reports like this go a long way to aiding that.[Cheers PCGamesN]