ELEAGUE is looking to build a similar narrative to that of pro sports.
The 10-week eSports tournament featuring the first-person shooter Counter Strike: Global Offensive is set to air on TBS on Friday. In advanced of the competitive matches, Craig Barry, the executive vice president of production and chief content officer of Turner Sports, told the International Business Times that he’s hoping the ELEAGUE will demonstrate more than just gamers playing games, but that fans connect to the personalities like they do in pro sports.
“Ultimately, these players need to be celebrated,” Berry told International Business Times. “As important as the teams and the events are, the very fabric of eSports is the individual player. So, creating narratives, making sure you’re connecting emotionally to fans.”
As IBT notes, to appeal to a broader audience, ELEAGUE will need to develop its own heroes and villains for fans to cheer along with and root against. It’s pretty much how all sports work. Having players fans can connect to is obviously huge to developing the sport. A general audience doesn’t know who the best players are, so developing storylines will be huge in growing the sport among non-traditional eSports fans.
It was announced earlier last week that ELEAGUE will be widely available to both new fans and old who want to tune in. Darin Kwilinski of ESPN.com reported the league reached a multi-year deal to stream exclusively on the streaming platform Twitch.TV, who will carry broadcasts on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. On Friday, ELEAGUE will air simultaneously on TBS and Twitch at 10 PM.
The narratives will take form on Tuesday, May 24 when the ELEAGUE debuts on Twitch. The league makes it debut on TBS on May 27.