Best Interactions between TV and Esports

It lived exclusively in the Internet for a while but success and incomes completely changed the game. Television is interested in esports industries but doesn’t know how to work with it most effectively yet. Let’s take a look onto the most interesting and remarkable interactions of esports and television.

Esports on TV

First Marks

Eastern countries were pioneers of esports topics adapted for TV’s. At early 2000’s WCG tournament series appeared on big TV-channels of South Korea. In Europe, serious esports broadcasts began in Sweden first. The TV6 channel regularly shows Stockholm DreamHack tournament events, CS:GO majors and The International.

It should be mentioned, that the initiative to do that was not their own: the contract between the provider and local government had the obligatory point to show the competition on local TV channels. The initiative was successful, and more than 100 DreamHack matches were shown since that time already.

Development of Esports on TV

In South Korea, USA, Sweden and China where virtual sports develop perfectly and use support of fans and governments, channels and TV-shows touching the topic are not rare. One of examples: esportsTV channel from ESL. The channel is available after the subscription for various digital platforms like: Skylink, Viasat, Canal Digital, etc. This allows it to appear on TV-screens of Baltic and Scandinavian countries, Africa, some European countries and the USA. Viewers can watch ESL One, IEM and Pro League tournaments.

Disney became one of the greatest “family” esports distributors. On channels like Disney XD, ABC and ESPN there appear broadcasts showing the Overwatch League, EVO series competitions, and Injustice 2 tournaments. Together with Nintendo, the corporation launched series of TV-shows devoted to Nintendo Switch family competitions where children and parents play Super Mario Odyssey and Just Dance 2018 together.

Thanks to the cooperation with ESL and Riot Games, the ESPN broadcasting network got expanded with matches of North American League Championship Series and ESL One, Pro League and IEM tournaments. One of the greatest Disney’s competitors, the Nickelodeon channel, added esports content to their assortment, too. They invested $15 million to develop the Super Gaming League for Minecraft and some other disciplines to broadcast matches on the TV-channel.

Negative cases exist, too. The Czech COOL channel decided to show all 84 matches of the DreamLeague season 2. But they failed to attract enough viewers and never came back to esports.

Esports and Television

What Can Prevent Esports from Development on TV?

Esports develop rapidly in terms of incomes and audience numbers. Still, these factors do not guarantee its success on TV channels. There are some reasons that might prevent it:

  • “Another” audience. Mostly, people who watch TV are at their 35 or older while esports are interesting for younger ones. Fans are used to search for interesting contents on Twitch, Facebook, YouTube and other platforms. They don’t have enough motivation to switch TV-sets on for that yet.
  • Different formats. People watching esports tournaments are used to the possibility to communicate with commentators and other viewers via chats. TV can’t offer such interaction with the audience. Many sponsors often provide giveaways on their steams (keys for unique skins, free games etc.). If there is a choice between watching a TV or a usual stream offering a reward, then the choice is obvious.
  • Match durations. In regular sports, match timings are strictly limited, so TV managers can organize broadcasts precisely enough. DotA 2 matches last for 40-50 minutes but can last longer. So, even a bo3 matchup is extremely difficult to be timed. Additional difficulty is that many channels have to show ads during certain periods. Ads in the middle of an esports match won’t help the channel increase ratings.
  • Age ratings. Scenes from some games like DOOM or Counter Strike can’t be shown during any TV-time due to age restrictions. Gamers know many different stories about videogames causing violence and cruelty. So the appearance of such contents on TV-screens can cause even more noise and unexpected consequences.
  • Staff. On the TV, there often are people who are busy with esports but don’t really understand the topic. This causes a bad and biased approach towards video games.

Esports Development

Esports successfully develop without television, too. Appearance on TV screens can increase its reputation just as the adding of virtual sports into the program of Olympic Games. It is not as important for esports as for the other side.

Nevertheless, this acceptance will help attracting new people with professional skills and fresh ideas into the industry. Maybe this will take some more years to try, but the result can have positive effects for both esports and television.

Top 5 Video Game Movies Worth Watching

They say that video game screen adaptation movies are guaranteed to be bad. They’re right. Throughout the whole history of cinema there was no video game movie worth saying: “Wooooow!” Uwe Boll is called the worst cinema director of all times, and he is not accidental to film video game screenings. That is why all that hype about the “Assassin’s Creed” movie before its release wondered me very much. I used to say: “Hmmm, that’s a video game picture. Really, what can go wrong?”

Assassin’s Creed Videogame Movie

They gave me counterarguments like “Ubisoft” is in control of the process and they’ll make it all interesting, the plot is cool, there is a budget and cool actors… The result was still usual.

Why does it happen that way? I think the reason is obvious: gameplay. Here is the point: in the video game, the gameplay process is the most important. This means if developers pay too much attention to their story there appear too many cut-scenes and the player gets bored as a result. That is why even if the game has an interesting, original and unusual story, the most important thing is how to play it.

I can give you a bright opposite example: there was an attempt to make a quest videogame basing on a “Murder on the Orient Express” movie. Developers worked hard, made a beautiful design, chose good music… and I dropped the game after first 30 minutes. There were TOO MANY dialogues, no action, so I decided to quit.

But let’s go back to video game movies. Despite the overall piteous situation, there are some movies which can be acknowledged as acceptable. They are not cool, not masterpiece movies, just acceptable. I really like only two of them (one screen version was rather just “based on” the game). Still, to write this Top 5 article for you, I came up with three more movies which at least can be watched without a risk to harm your eyes and minds.

1. Mortal Kombat, 1995

MK Videogame Movie

This movie was incredibly stupid even for middle 90’s. A ridiculous plot, flat characters, weird dialogues, terrible graphics (yes, it was TERRIBLE even for those times). But! The movie is still watchable. Screenwriters turned a not-story fighting video game into a movie with a plot, worked with combat footage and even brought a star into the frame – Christopher Lambert from “The Highlander”. And there are some cool scenes in the overall madness: at least, the glorious “Your soul is mine” phrase by Shang Tsung.

2. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, 2010

Prince of Persia Movie

This is the most expensive video game movie ever. It is based on a perfect game series. Its main concept is time travelling. Its atmosphere is the desert and the sand of Middle East. Its producer was Jerry Bruckheimer. Its main actors were Jake Gyllenhaal and Ben Kingsley. So, what could go wrong?

Probably, the “Disney” studio was the reason. Another company would have a chance to make a dart action movie with a brutal main hero on the screen.

“Disney” turned it into a kind tale for kids. Beautiful, humorous but… empty. The plot is regular. Heroes don’t make you feel them (moreover, only the prince and the vizier were present in the source video game as characters). Enemies are no-name bots instead of terrible monsters.

And the main point of games – the time travelling – was used less than two times during the whole movie. I was disappointed by this picture in cinema, and it has never made me watch it once more.

3. Warcraft, 2016

Warcraft Videogame Movie

In 2016, fans expected two video game screen versions at once: Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed. Both were met in a pretty restrained manner. But if the second one was totally failed then Warcraft could be called watchable enough.

Creators worked a lot to create computer models of heroes and general decorations, battle scenes were interesting, the plot did not concentrate on a certain side of the conflict: the viewer can “choose” the side to “play” for.

The main lack of this movie was the fact they made it totally fan-oriented. There were many unexplained things you can’t understand unless you played all games of the setting, there was no way to understand rules of the universe and so on. All in all, this is a typical guide how to please fans while not caring about the rest of the audience.

Still, as for me the lack of explanations was not something bad. I think modern people just got used to thoughtless consumption too much. For me, Warcraft made an impression of a huge universe with many unseen places and hidden parts. Still, I’m not fond of fantasy settings in general, so I’ve never felt the will to explore those places.

4. Resident Evil, 2002

Resident Evil Movie

Here we go with a movie I actually like. Though not being a fan of zombie movies, the first “Resident Evil” was good. A pure action, massive shooting and a bunch of bright remarkable scenes were there too.

Mila Jovovich literally found her role. This actress brilliantly combines her natural sexuality with brutality, while many female action-heroes lack this. I’ve not played the Resident Evil series. As I know, the movie made many steps away from the game but is it that important if it was so lucky? The film ending was promising and I was sure: the sequel will be even brighter and better than the original movie.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. The second movie was watchable enough, but still not that bright as the first one. The third part came into a senseless mix of plot turns and pointless action scenes. Unfortunately.

5. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, 2001

Lara Croft Movie

Well, I love this movie! In general, the genre of adventures and artifact searches never left me indifferent, no matter if it was the epochal “Indiana Jones” or a light “National Treasure” movie.

Directors of Lara Croft tried to recreate the game atmosphere as closely as possible, added mystery, plot turns, magic items and of course a beautiful main hero. Lara Croft has been known as the most beautiful video game character according to many gamers. And Angelina Jolie hit the role perfectly. This movie was not only interesting to watch it because of a plot, it was a visual pleasure.

Honestly, I don’t understand why its ratings were so low: just 5.7 on IMDB and terrible 20% on Rotten Tomatoes. Of course, it is not a masterpiece, but it is interesting to track Lara’s adventures and the ending time reversal scene made me very glad.

These are my Top 5 video game movies worth attention. Unfortunately, even last two of them are not perfect.

As a bonus, I’d like to mention not a film, not even a cartoon, just an episode of cartoon series. No, it is a part of the “Futurama” episode. There, Fry asks the What-If Machine a question:

What if life was more like a videogame?

And it showed aliens from the Nintendo planet. Aliens were video game characters: Donkey Kong, Space invaders, etc. And the courageous general Pac-Man stands against them. It was a curious episode with many references for video games. The funniest thing was the fact that aliens wanted humans to give them… quarters! This means 25-cent coins which made old game machines work.

In 2015, the “Pixels” movie was released with Adam Sandler. In fact, the movie tells a pretty similar story. Still, it was just weird and contained all the worst things from Adam Sandler’s comedies. I felt much regret about such a cool idea destroyed by wrong people.

And what watchable video game movies do you know? I’d like to know your opinion.

Esports and Movie Theaters Suitable and Profitable Partnership

Esports Can Gain Much Fun and Income by Partnering with Cinemas

These two branches of the modern entertainment industry got a perfect way for earning a lot of cash. They only need clients.

Super League Gaming (SLG) dares towards hosting events connected to esports in theater venues to give players the experience off spending time in a venue with their hobby friends competing on big cinema screens. Cinemas will get profits by renting their physical spaces instead of just wasting it and its time. The question appears: will gamers who are real clients for this business model wish to use this proposition?

Good news first for field businesses: looks like the answer is “possibly enough”.

What’s the Deal?

SLG (super league gaming) started a Minecraft league for six weeks last fall. The final of the league came up to the championship in December and awarded a 10-year old boy named Julien Wiltshire and his crew with a collective sum of 15 thousand dollars.

Over one thousand participants played in league competitions taking place in cinemas all over the country. Players had to visit a “certified” cinema and go in for a competition distinguished by Minecraft game modes. As SLG officials said, gamers had to show:

  • Creativity;
  • Teamwork;
  • Critical thinking skills.

Why Minecraft?

Minecraft was chosen for the competition partially because of its open-source nature: SLG were able to create special modifications to deliver the required experience for theater gamers. The event was successful enough, because another league tournament of this type was announced for a start in February. Super League Gaming monetizes the competition through visitor tickets for tournament events placed in cinemas. Theater venues get some piece of revenue from the SLG.

Brett Morris, COO of Super League Gaming said the scale is all that matters here. If to take a look at the business model itself, it can be explained through the Star Wars franchise movie example. People can watch Star Wars on more than four thousand cinema screens nowadays. The same principle works for SLG. Their level of success is to be dictated by the quantity of screens and cinemas conducting their competitive events.

The company has connections with cinemas that belong to the biggest chains like Regal, AMC and Cinemark at the moment. Connections with less serious ones (iPic Entertainment, etc.) are also available for them. There are some theaters behind iPic which seem to offer more of a luxurious experience: top-quality seats, cool menus and cafes nearby, and other things.

Some More Interesting Data

iPic CEO named Hamid Hashemi who gained more than twenty five years of cinema industry working experience thinks that SLG remains a good possibility to sell out his company’s cinema space. The competition is interesting for 9 to 14 year old children mainly, and Hashemi said this to be one of the most attractive aspects for business. Why? Because this gives cinemas the opportunity to schedule competition events for time which is usually “dead” for cinemas: afternoons.

The content of SLG Minecraft competitions was set to be some kind of alternative for cinemas and organized as if someone paid the theater space owner for any meeting organized inside it. Nevertheless, Hashemi noted that such kind of contents does not influence much on the cinema’s earnings: it takes 2 to 3% of overall revenue. Still, it is much better to have the auditorium full of people than to keep it empty at any case.

Hashemi stated that his company had been looking for opportunities to use gaming for business. Gaming is predicted to become the top-viewed sport within the nearest 5 years. So, cybersports is big.

Cinemark marketing vice president stated the company is open to organize upcoming SLG events because of being satisfied with the existing results. At this moment, almost 30 cinemas of the company are properly equipped to show SLG content.

The premiere of a Minecraft competition is considered as successful by these two theater companies and SLG as well. Super League Gaming planned to set partnerships with companies developing videogames in order to provide cinemas with new titles to rotate shows.

SLG aims towards getting every game suitable for theater shows. The most challenging and difficult thing for this business is to choose following games. This offers developers profitable income options they couldn’t really have in the past. This means, they can sell real tickets to people willing to watch cybersports events and to spend some time with their likeminders.

Minecraft is not a thing people can consider as an esports discipline. Still, implications play a much more serious role. Video game experience can be wanted by customers ready to bring real money for the opportunity to get it. Super League Gaming representatives agreed with cinema companies about their competition to be known by parents. There can be found esport titles created exactly for big cinema screens.

Nevertheless, a thousand participants is literally nothing for the scale of national levels of esport events. SLG has some far plans to set more partnering contracts leading to increase the number of interested gamers and competition participants.