The Electronic Entertainment Expo trade show in Los Angeles is one of the biggest events of the year for the gaming industry, and yet a huge audience of hardcore gaming fans don’t care.
Earlier today as the Microsoft media event was starting, 500,000 people were watching E3-related livestreams on Twitch. At the same time, however, another 500,000 people were watching esports-related broadcasts for games like League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Hearthstone, Dota 2, and Overwatch. So while it might feel like everyone in the gaming world has their eyes on L.A., it’s more obvious than ever that video games are far bigger than what is happening at E3.
For esports fans, watching their game is always going to bring them more enjoyment than a slickly produced E3 stage show. They don’t care what’s coming next because they don’t want any other game than League or World of Tanks or whatever else. That’s actually the entire point of esports. The reason that so many investors are pouring money into the space is because they see how engaged and enthusiastic the audience is. A Counter-Strike fan isn’t turning off the tournament livestream to go see a movie, to binge-watch Netflix, or to check out E3. They just don’t care.
This is one of the reasons why I still don’t understand why companies at E3 try to lean on esports during their media events. Hey, Microsoft — who is this for?
I get that having a shoutcaster up on stage is shorthand for “this is a competitive game,” but c’mon — a man pretending to call play-by-play on a stage doesn’t appeal to the people who are watching. And even if esports fans weren’t busy watching something else, they probably still wouldn’t care because it’s not their game. So all these moments ever do is make the people watching roll their eyes, so maybe cut this out from all E3s going forward.