Exactly two months after Germany’s Electronic Sports League announced that it would begin giving drug tests to its eSports competitors in order to curb illicit Adderall use—thereby proving that eSports are no different from “real” sports—Turner Broadcasting has decided to launch its own professional video game league (but without the unlawful distribution of ADHD medication, we assume). That comes from Variety, which says that TBS will also air 20 live eSports events next year—including “playoffs and a championship round”—all based around Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The league doesn’t have a name yet, but we’d like to recommend either “The Very Funny League” or “The National Association Of Family Guy Reruns.”
As Variety notes, ESPN tried to bring eSports to mainstream America earlier this year with a televised Heroes Of The Storm tournament. The event drew a bunch of backlash from sports snobs, though, who thought watching people on computers tell digital monsters to kill each other was an insult to the “real” athletes who catch balls and give each other concussions for a living. Also, there was that whole Jimmy Kimmel thing from a few weeks ago where he made fun of the Let’s Play videos that people put on YouTube. Stuff like that may make it seem like eSports have an uphill battle to fight in earning the respect of American TV viewers, but we don’t know what kind of response football faced when it was first invented. Maybe the 1800s-equivalent of ESPN hated it as well?