How You'll Watch eSports Soon


How You'll Watch eSports Soon (Photo: The Next Level)

TNL Take: Date: Soon

Even with all the self-driving DidiUber's around, my trip back from LaGuardia took forever because the renovation that started in 2016 is still going on.

My door unlocks as I approach my house and I feel the cool A/C that switched on when I was 15 minutes away.

Siri: Welcome home. I hope you had a great trip.  Can I do anything for you?

Me: When's the next Overwatch tournament?

Siri: The Champions Ladder in 17 minutes on Facebook.

Me: Notify me when that starts and put on the last Still Shaqtin' A Fool in the meantime.

Siri: You've got 10 minutes remaining of yesterday's show, would you like me to start there and continue with the latest show?

Me: Cool.

Siri: There's also an Indian documentary on a rising star from the slums of Mumbai. I've translated and placed in your Recommendations.

Me: Thank you.


In part one of eSports Media Evolution, we looked at Verizon/Yahoo's entrance with the 2-year ESL partnership.

In part two, it was the various ways that Disney's eSports investment could be used across it's various platforms and consumer touch points.

in today's final and part three of eSports Media Evolution, Ill look at where I believe eSports heading from an overall consumption perspective.


If you're going to start with Consumption, I think you have to start with Disruption.


Disruption and eSports come together for me based on two authors:



Potentially my favorite quote of all time, from one of my favorite writers, William Gibson. Gibson wrote the seminal book Neuromancer in 1984 in which he coined the phrase "cyberspace"

What he's saying is that you don't need to wait for the future - it's already here.

Live Streamed Virtual Reality Surgery? Yes.

Want to send something to space on a re-usable rocket? Yup.

While great advancements are already here, it's how to make them more accessible to everyone on the planet vs. the minority.

Just like eSports needs to do.



I read this book the same year that Netscape Navigator 4.0 came out - 1997 - which I still remember as changing the browser game.

Written by Harvard professor Clay Christensen, the main theory that emerged was that large companies focus too much on current customer needs, fail to adopt new technology and will ultimately fall behind - essentially the definition of disruption.

You clearly see this in Media today.

I made it a point to avoid as much "Live TV" coverage of the Olympics this year as a test. I was completely fine "watching" the Olympics on Twitter.

Here's some viewer data for this Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards:

TV Ratings: -34%

Facebook Streams: +938%


So what's this all mean for eSports?

How You'll Watch eSports Soon (Photo: The Next Level)

Very simply, in 2014 there was basically one place to watch eSports content: Twitch.

In just two years, you can now watch live content across:


Twitch. TBS. Twitter. YouTube Gaming. Facebook. ESPN. Verizon. VR. Mobcrush. 


And that's just in the US and not counting 24/7 satellite channels like Ginx or the gazillion Chinese live streaming sites.

So not only is Twitch being disrupted, but so is the whole space as Publishers begin acquiring their own means of distribution. 

Let's end with a look at one potential scenario for content similar to what you see in current Pro Sports and Broadcast deals:


Channels and Content = Call of Duty and Destiny

Facebook = Blizzard = Counter-Strike/E LEAGUE

ESPN = EVO Championship

Xbox = Minecraft

EA = You name a game of theirs

Twitch = Rocket League Championship Series

Verizon = ESL One Cologne


Now replace Facebook for NBC and Blizzard for Baseball and you can see the potential future.


It's already happening. It's just not everywhere yet.

If you're interested in The Innovator's Dilemma, here's a talk with co-founder of VC firm Andreessen Horowitz and coincidentally also co-founder of Netscape, talking with author Clay Christensen earlier this year: