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SXSW Interactive 2016

The Future of the eSports Revolution

eSports are making a new push into the public eye, and have already surpassed some of the traditional Big Four sports in terms of popularity. The League of Legends World Championship Final sold out a 40,000-seat World Cup stadium in 2014, more than 79 million people follow gaming on YouTube, and ESPN2 even aired the finals of Blizzard’s Heroes of the Dorm tournament in 2015.

eSports are no longer on the periphery of the sporting world. But with increased exposure, comes greater scrutiny.

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  1. Are long-term careers in eSports viable given the volatile nature of the scene?
  2. How do developers, players and sponsors cope with the fact that video games, unlike sports, have a finite lifespan?
  3. Can eSports achieve mainstream acceptance, and does that even matter to players?



Mike Foss, Co-founder, USA TODAY Sports

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