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YouTube Invests in IPL and eSports

By David 'Holy_KR' Kim
Nov 3, 2011 00:14

ImageIn an exciting announcement for all of eSports, YouTube will feature eSports in the form of the IGN Pro League, and will possibly expose mainstream audiences to eSports all around the world.

Everyone can attest that eSports has grown exponentially in these past few months. With the release of Starcraft 2, competitive gaming has literally exploded all over, and the term "eSports" gains notoriety each day. Leagues such as the Global Starcraft 2 League, the IGN Pro League, and the NASL to name a few, have dished out thousands of dollars in prize money in Starcraft 2, and small grassroot's movements such as Barcrafts and tournament dailies are helping to establish a community that will allow SC2 and eSports as a whole to continue on for years to come.

Now as if we the community could not be amazed enough, YouTube has announced its investment into professional gaming programming, with its new START program, and will feature Starcraft 2 gamers traveling all around the world, to compete with the best of the best.

Forbes released an article detailing the announcement:

"YouTube is investing heavily in entertainment, hoping to lure more eyeballs to its site with broadcast-quality content. The site has partnered with IGN Entertainment to launch the official game channel, START. IGN will also be working with Shine Group’s Reveille, the production company behind internationally successful TV series like “The Biggest Loser” and “MasterChef”. All three companies are owned by News Corps.

Debuting in early 2012, the online channel will introduce new TV-quality content around gaming to YouTube. Among the first shows to debut will be IGN Pro League. This show will follow top-ranked pro gamers as they traverse the globe to compete in a world class professional gaming tournament complete with cash prizes, screaming fans and all the trappings of a nationally televised sporting event. IGN has been streaming its new pro gaming events to fans already, but this new deal with YouTube will give pro gaming a potentially huge mainstream audience.

Other shows that will run on START include: The Next Game Boss, an elimination competition series where teams of independent game producers compete to win funding to build the next big indie game;

Game Over, a game, tech and entertainment news show and Celebrity Assassin, a show that allows celebrities to show off their gaming skills. Roy Bahat, president of IGN Entertainment, talks about the role eSports will have on START and what’s in store for gamers in this exclusive interview.

What type of gaming content will you be rolling out?

It probably won’t be information shows talking about games. It will probably be things that convey the emotion of being part of the video game world. Some of it is going to be competitive gaming and eSports. Some of it could be things set in a game world that use the game characters in a funny or dramatic way. Some of it is just going to be comedy that anchors in the world of games. One of our concepts is basically two guys who are working at a game store and it’s a comedy where they play off of each other, basically. So stuff like that where the references are anchored in the world of games, but it’ not necessarily talking about a game as an information thing. The Siskel and Ebert format applied to games, we think is really hard to make work. It works for like a minute and a half, which is what we do with our Daily Fix on the Web, but to do it as longer form on a television screen, we just think that’s hard."

The Full interview and more information can be found here

With the future looking bright for eSports, and with YouTube being the perfect catalyst to show a mainly online audience the competitive gaming scene, this investment will make great strides for eSports, and hopefully put competitive gaming on the map as a venue for entertainment.



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