The biggest year in esports history is coming to a close. In many ways 2014 was a banner year for competitive video gaming—including the inroads its made in mainstream acceptance.
The $1 billion acquisition of Twitch by Amazon. The $11 million The International, an esports tournament with a bigger prize than The Masters. Twenty seven million people watched the Riot World Championships, the biggest League of Legends tournament around, in a sold out World Cup stadium. And perhaps the most respected newspaper on the planet, the New York Times, published a multiple-piece series on esports.
On Sunday, CBS Sunday Morning threw their hat in the esports ring, airing an 8 minute segment titled “How video games became a spectator sport.” It’s a surprisingly measured take on esports, compared to some similar pieces over the years, content to mock a misunderstood phenomenon.
The tone of the piece shows just how far esports has come—it’s something that can’t be ignored. It’s growing. It’s here to stay. CBS even delves into the sticky “is it a sport?” debate, using a Red Bull trainer to vouch for the athleticism behind competing in video games.