The love/hate relationship between sports broadcaster ESPN and eSports continues.
The network this weekend showed live coverage of Blizzard’s Heroes of the Dorm finals on US cable TV, marking the first time eSports has been aired live on the air.
However, along with some well documented confusion from some of the US public, ESPN radio host Colin Cowherd later on his show voiced his disdain for televised eSports.
“Here’s what’s going to get me off the air,” he said of eSports, as reported by Sports Grid. “If I am ever forced to cover guys playing video games, I will retire. And move to a rural fishing village and sell bait. You want me out? Demand video game tournaments on ESPN because that’s what appeared on ESPN2 yesterday.
“Somebody lock the basement door at mum’s house and don’t let ‘em out. I tagged out at Harry Potter. I tolerated Donkey Kong, OK? I’ll tell you what that was the equivalent there, of me putting a gun in my mouth and having to listen to that. Unbelievable. You know what the funny thing is? Listen to how intense they are. Those guys are totally into it.”
Cowherd is far from the first ESPN official to speak out against eSports. Last year its president John Skipper claimed that eSports “is not a sport”, adding: “It’s a competition. Chess is a competition. Checkers is a competition. Mostly, I’m interested in doing real sports.”