It was during the latest Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) event that while I was watching I realized that I didn’t really have a team I was rooting for. Sure, I’m a fan of NRG, V1, and the latest fan favorite Moist, but not seeing them wasn’t a big deal for me. I was just as happy watching FURIA take the win. Why is that? Shouldn’t I have a team I prefer to watch and root for?
As someone who has always been into video games, but was raised in a family that never had much interest in them, it was sometimes hard to find a way to explain my fascination with the gaming industry. Instead of them learning more about video games and what makes them entertaining, they attempted to get me more interested in things they liked. While I did wish it were a two-way street when I was younger, it was an understandable approach looking back.
Even so, because of this, I am now aware of sports in just about every aspect despite not being a fan of sports. Furthermore, regardless of my level of interest, if I were to watch a baseball or football game, I know which team to root for – my home team. The only sport I really enjoy watching is hockey, so to that – Go Lightning!
This question melded with my experience when I was younger being introduced to sports when I realized that there are no home teams in esports. Whether you enjoy watching League of Legends, Rocket League, Counter-Strike, or any other game on a major league gamer (MLG) level, you will need to understand the game enough to find a team or player(s) to root for based on merit or another finite quality.
If you weren’t into video games and someone tried to get you into watching esports, the game of choice only matters partly. The introducer would need to show the introducee who to root for and give them a reason that isn’t confusing to an outsider, which would be a hard task. This is definitely a main factor keeping esports from catching on!
RLCS even has a college league that takes place and guess what, there’s a college in there that is near my home town and I was naturally more interested in watching their games. So, while there has been a spike in esport viewership and validity, if we truly want to see this commodity take off as it should, the esport community should consider looking into setting up home teams rather than separately forming as they are currently.
What do you think about this insight into esports growth hindrance? What other aspects do you think is holding the esport viewership from spiking into the millions?