ESPN has been flirting with esports recently, from hosting MLG Call of Duty and Dota 2 tournaments at the X Games to broadcasting a college esports competition. But what if instead of bringing esports to ESPN, someone made an “ESPN of esports”?
That’s what PVP Live, a Texas based production company, claims it is launching today.
The site’s official launch today coincides with the opening day of its $60,000 Hearthstone league. But the site’s website, which hosts stats in League of Legends, Dota 2, and Hearthstone, rankings, schedules, and aggregated news, launched last week.
The ESPN comparison sets some lofty expectations, and it’s not yet clear how the company plans to meet them. Part of the package includes a 24/7 esports news channel—but PVP hasn’t released specific details on this, other than promising it will launch “later this year”.
Its the data operation is impressive. The organization has hired multiple full-time staff to work on its statistics, including numbers most esports fans are pretty familiar with: KDA and GPM for instance, in League of Legends. For Hearthstone, the site has some innovative ideas fro stats, tracking things like average damage done to the enemy hero, number of minions killed, and how much mana they use in each game. Whether this will be engaging and useful information for Hearthstone fans remains to be seen.
PVP Live, which previously ran the Tavern Takeover tournament series, is putting heavy emphasis on Hearthstone. Its Hearthstone Pro League (HPL) which launches today, will put it in direct competition with other Hearthstone league owners like Vulcun, Archon and Kinguin.
“We’re dedicated to providing fans with the best, most robust esports experience possible,” said J. Casey Wehr, CEO of PVP Live. “from professionally managed and supported pro leagues that feature the best of the best, to real-time intelligence, news and data on the teams and players fans care about.”
Does a stats website and a Hearthstone tournament make it “the ESPN of esports”? Surely not. But it is an ambitious project aiming to directly compete with established stats sites and it’s making big promises of 24/7 streaming content. That, at the very least, is going to make the esports media scene a lot more interesting in the coming year.