Everyone knows ESPN and the reach that it has in the world of traditional sports, even if it hasn’t quite gotten to “The Ocho” yet and Ron Burgundy remains a doubter. But eSports doesn’t have its equivalent yet, which is why ESGN is trying to propel itself into that role.
Created by online media company Clauf GmbH, ESGN announced its beta launch earlier today, revealing a multi-pronged plan for covering the world of eSports like no one has attempted to date. Using its web portal and the debuting ESGNTV, the fledgling network is dedicated to providing 24-hour coverage of the eSports world, including news, discussion, analysis, player profiles and interviews, and the most up-to-date tournament results. It’s also partnered with key companies in multiple markets, like the ESL (Europe), GameFy (China), and GomTV (Korea).
“With ESGN and ESGNTV we aim to be one of the leading content providers in the eSport landscape, providing a fresh approach to the profession and airing incredible content found nowhere else,” Jong Hwan Lee, CEO, Clauf GmbH, said in a statement announcing the launch. “This is the first step in a truly massive global initiative that will bring eSports to fans like never before. Our eSports experts and partners are eager to launch ESGN and ESGNTV for the masses.”
Headquartered in Berlin and broadcasting out of a 6000-square foot studio, ESGNTV has enlisted the help of Dan “Frodan” Chou as host and former ESPN producer Morgan Stone behind the scenes. The channel’s first show is entitled “Fight Night” and will focus on games like “Starcraft II,” “Hearthstone,” and “Street Fighter,” with a larger lineup of programming on the way early next year. Both ESGN sites are free and require no registration.
The other big part of the ESGN master plan is a ranking system that uses feedback from partners in places all over the globe to attempt to create a unified system for ranking players and teams. The ESGN Points algorithm has been designed to try to make some sense out of what can be a contentious and confusing landscape, and if it works, could make it easier for people new to eSports to identify the top people and teams in different games.
All told, it’s an ambitious foray into a space that is booming but also feels more like the Wild West than a well-oiled machine at times. ESGN is also using established platforms like Twitch and YouTube to try to spread its brand, and it has every intention of helping bring eSports to the masses. You know, like ESPN helped do for regular sports almost 35 years ago.
“Working together will really enable us all to grow faster and to make professional gaming a true global sport, rivaling the biggest traditional sports out there. One company alone will certainly not be able to make it, so we as an industry have to cooperate and combine our efforts,” Ralf Reichert, Managing Director, Turtle Entertainment (ESL), said.
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