When ESPN began in 1979, viewing sports became something fans could do from the comfort of their own homes. Now a new video gaming network may become to esports what ESPN has been to traditional sports. Esports is leveling up.
Esports (electronic sports) income could top $1 billion this year. Even now, global viewership numbers rival those of traditional sports—with nearly 100 million viewers watching just one of last year’s esports world championships. That’s roughly equal to TV viewership for the Super Bowl.
As with many things, video games can be helpful or harmful. Any activity that hurts relationships with real people or takes up time that should be spent elsewhere (schoolwork, devotional time, jobs, etc.) should limited—or even eliminated. Remember the 1 Corinthians 6:12 principle: “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.” (NASB)
VENN, short for Video Game Entertainment and News Network, will launch in 2020. The network aims to give esports higher quality content than online streaming.
Yet despite the launch of a network, the esports industry remains disjointed. Just like not all football fans also watch hockey, players of one game aren’t necessarily keeping tabs on other games. So creating a common space for all gamers has proven difficult.
VENN hopes to offer 55 hours of original programming per week, including gamer (player) streams, talk shows, documentaries, and live esport events. Many of the details aren’t worked out yet. But according to Jonathan Shieber at online magazine TechCrunch, VENN will probably include “an American Ninja Warrior-style” contest using speed runs through game levels.
Many people support VENN’s concept. According to co-founder Ben Kusin, when VENN approached game companies and asked whether they wanted to help, “The answer was a resounding yes.”
What do you think about watching other people play video games?
(London Spitfire fan Rick Ybarra, of Plainfield, Indiana, reacts after London won the second game against the Philadelphia Fusion during a competition in New York City. AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)