"People are Now Building Games with an Eye for eSports," Says ESL

By Thomas Luke

July 29, 2014

Many mainstream publishers are considering putting one title into the eSports fray, according to VP North America for the Electronic Sports League Craig Levine.

He noted that the ESL had been discussing the way companies could look to develop the eSports.

We’ve literally had conversations with every publisher. So the fact that every publisher has an eye on eSports for one title or business development lens or another says something.

The biggest issue in terms of moving forward, Levine says, is overcoming the idea that eSports are niche.

He points to the recent success of Valve’s partially crowdfunded prize pool for the Dota 2 tournament The International, which garnered almost 10 million dollars from community support alone. Levine also pointed to ESL One Frankfurt as another example of the numbers eSports could pull.

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It was crazy, I don’t know what the official key arena numbers were but we had 25,000 people buying tickets to come through there. I think those type of events, again, become this sort of rallying point which that broader base is attracted to.

The key part of pushing eSports forward at this point, Levine says, is to humanise the players and create a narrative, much like professional sports do.

How do you start to tell the stories of these players and their journey there? Storytelling, focusing on those stars, and humanizing a little bit of what it is also.

It’s about storytelling, telling the story of these competitors and players everyday and them boom, blowing it out of the water with something big a couple of times a year.

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