Apple released a new iPhone 6S video ad earlier this week, and it features a whole five seconds of esports footage—but it’s not as hype as you might think.
The basic premise of the ad is that the newest iPhone is “ridiculously powerful.” Enough to load maps faster and film really high-quality video—oh, and to play your favorite esports games.
The five-second esports highlight starts 28 seconds into the one minute and one second video, and it all focuses on mobile multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game Call of Champions.
Call of Champions is a three-on-three game with typical MOBA gameplay: The goal is to destroy the enemies base. The difference with Call of Champions is that there is a five-minute time limit. The team that destroys the most enemy buildings (or, in the case of a tie, has the most kills) wins the game.
In Apple’s ad the esports feature starts off behind three players, facing out into the crowd. As it zooms in on one player, then his screen, and then the crowd going wild, the voice over lady says “and games are definitely not a game.” Fair enough, esports should be taken seriously.
But then Apple tries to be tongue-in-cheek, and it doesn’t quite work.
The camera pans to one of the players as he stands up and throws his hands above his head in celebration. Then it goes to the back of the crowd, who are celebrating too. You know, typical esports things.
The problem is the next part of the voice over. “Wait, is this a sport now?” the voiceover lady asks. What?
While having esports highlighted in an ad by a huge brand is amazing for bringing attention to the industry (which it really seems to be getting a lot of anyway these days)—and for Call of Champions especially—that last sentence was definitely not needed.
Yes, Apple, esports is a sport now. A sport worth $748 million worldwide this year alone and estimated to be worth $1.9 billion by 2018, according to research company SuperData Research. And while the humor is appreciated, it almost makes Apple seem behind the times—which for a giant tech company that prides itself on being at the forefront of innovation, is rather amusing.