The Legitimacy of eSports
eSports (the colloquial term for video game competitions) is something that many people don’t consider a legitimate sport. Regardless of the fact that eSports tournaments sell out regularly (sometimes more than NFL and other high visibility sporting events), have prize pools in the range of millions of dollars, and are covered both online and on television channels like ESPN, the legitimacy of eSports is still impossible to convince to the vast majority. A lot of people just don’t understand how something that doesn’t involve physical exertion (or a sports ball) can be a real sport. This notion is changing, however.
Anyway! Games Done Quick Express (GDQx) happened over the weekend at TwitchCon, and while I can go on and on about speedrunning and the GDQ charity marathons, I’ll leave that for another post maybe. The reason I mention the most recent GDQ is because what started as a jarring and annoying commercial break in the middle of a heated Super Mario race turned into something marvelous: Honda has announced a partnership with Team Liquid!
Team Liquid? What’s that?
Good question! Team Liquid is a professional eSports stable with many pro players and teams across games ranging from MOBAs, to strategy, to shooters, and even card games and fighting games. They’re a really really big deal in the eSports world, with sponsorships by Monster Energy, twitch.tv, and many other companies. But they’ve definitely stepped up their game with their partnership with Honda.
What is Honda?
They make cars and other stuff. You’ve probably heard of them.
What does that mean?
Honestly, I’m not sure. The press release is super vague (https://www.teamliquid.com/news/2019/01/24/the-horsepower-of-dreams-team-liquid-partners-with-honda). It seems like they’re getting some custom Honda Odysseys and Honda will also help them make a documentary series? I don’t know exactly.
That said, if a titan of industry like Honda is looking to do any sort of partnership with an eSports group, the legitimacy of eSports can no longer be called into question.
Sources: Team Liquid logo from Team Liquid, Honda Odyssey image from Honda presskit