In a deal first reported by Variety, The CW Network will air a one-hour special based on last weekend’s ESL Mortal Kombat X Pro League final. The special will serve as the sixth and final episode of the third season of Machinima’s Chasing the Cup series. The first five episodes will be made available on its streaming platform, CW Seed. The sixth will be aired on the CW Network on Feb. 15 at 8pm ET/PT.
The series followed five players—Americans Dominique “SonicFox” McLean, Carl “Perfect Legend” White, and Brant “Pig of the Hut” McCaskill; and Canadian brothers Tim “HoneyBee” Commandeur and Matthew “Biohazard” Commandeur—as they attempted to qualify for the finals of the second season of the ESL Pro League.
The first two seasons of the series, both of which aired in 2014 on YouTube and Twitch, focused on North American League of Legends teams Cloud9 and Counter Logic Gaming.
This move is yet another example of esports gaining a foothold on television networks. ESPN 2 aired the finals of Dota’s The International in 2014, as well as the finals of Heroes of the Storm event Heroes of the Dorm in 2015. Turner Broadcasting, meanwhile, is set to broadcast the ELEAGUE, a new Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competition, on TBS this summer.
The CW, which is half-owned by Warner Bros., has reason to air the event that go beyond courting fans of fighting games. The Mortal Kombat X player base has a lot of crossover with the that of Injustice: Gods Among Us, a fighting game with a cast made up of heroes and villains from DC Comics, which is also owned by Warner Bros. Both games were developed by NetherRealm Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Many of the CW’s most popular shows, including Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow, are based on DC Comics characters. The upcoming Batman v Superman movie was heavily promoted during the live ESL Pro League finals, and it would be a safe guess to see some form of cross-promotion between the properties when the special airs in February.
The first three episodes are already online. Episodes four and five will be uploaded on Feb. 1 and 8. The one-hour special will also be available on CW Seed at some point after it airs on the network.
Those who can’t wait until February to see how the Pro League ended can check out this recap.