I still remember when I first heard the term “professional gaming” and just how strange it seemed. In a way, it made sense as the next step for competitive gaming for it to go “pro,” but it still felt like something that nobody would ever take seriously. A lot has changed since those first, rocky few years, and there have been huge strides made towards making it more mainstream. I even remember having to explain to a few friends what eSports were when they popped up on ESPN and everyone was blown away by how professional the presentation was and how huge the crowds were.
The thing is, it just keeps continuing to grow. DailyDot reports that ELeague on TBS averaged over half a million viewers over the first week of its existence, which is rather impressive considering how new it is. Interestingly enough, the report claims that the same programming on ELeague’s Twitch has been viewed over 4.6 million times, once again proving that eSports exist in a strange world that is primarily on the internet, although those numbers are truly not bad for television.
Live programming exclusively on television has been struggling over the past few years, with the ever-popular WWE seeing ratings steadily decline for their Monday Night Raw with the WWE instead pointing people towards their YouTube channel to see where their viewers might have gone. But these numbers for ELeague’s CounterStrike tournament are relatively huge for what is essentially watching other people play videogames. Then again, YouTube has shown us that people actively like to watch other people play games, hasn’t it?