Some Sports Fans Upset ESPN Is Airing Video Game Tournaments

Illustration for article titled Some Sports Fans Upset ESPN Is Airing Video Game Tournaments

This weekend, ESPN2 aired a preview for the grand finals of Dota 2's The International, the 10 million-dollar tournament for the very popular video game. The move is kind of a big deal—arguably, it grants competitive gaming more mainstream legitimacy. But not everyone was happy to see Dota 2 on ESPN.

You can watch the segment here thanks to Mitchell Chea—Gabe Newell appears at about the 20 minute mark:

Naturally, some folks were hyped about the whole thing:

Illustration for article titled Some Sports Fans Upset ESPN Is Airing Video Game Tournaments
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Illustration for article titled Some Sports Fans Upset ESPN Is Airing Video Game Tournaments

But most folks seemed confused, irritated, if not downright angry about ESPN2 airing a video game:

Illustration for article titled Some Sports Fans Upset ESPN Is Airing Video Game Tournaments
Illustration for article titled Some Sports Fans Upset ESPN Is Airing Video Game Tournaments
Illustration for article titled Some Sports Fans Upset ESPN Is Airing Video Game Tournaments
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Here's a preview of some of the negative tweets you'll find if you search 'ESPN2' on Twitter. Click on 'expand' to see the image in full:

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( Image via Redditor nicnarcotic)

The intense response might seem silly, but it kind of makes sense. The average sports fan might not necessarily know or care about Dota, and its broadcast on ESPN2 was a surprise even to gamers. Plus, gamers themselves have disputes about categorizing gaming as a sport. EDIT: some folks might've just been upset that their normally expected programming was interrupted without much warning, as was the case with one Tweet we originally pictured in this article. That's reasonable. None of this excuses people being mean about how Dota 2 players look, of course!

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But to put this even further into perspective, here is the response that sports fans had to ESPN broadcasting soccer during the world cup, as posted by Redditor Vik1ng:

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The response to Dota doesn't seem so bad now, huh? Heh.

( Via Reddit)

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DISCUSSION

KillerWaLrUs
Killer_WaLrUs

I love the "non of these people are anywhere near athletic" tweet. ESPN and ESPN2 airs A LOT of World Series of Poker games and PBA tour matches. Below are the last 3 WSOP Main Even winners. They all look like the DOTA2 players. From top to bottom: Ryan Riess, Greg Merson, and Pius Heinz. Also, a lot of the players that make the WSOP earn a spot by winning a spot from an online poker site.