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New ESPN division to cover eSports ‘with same rigour’ as NFL

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ESPN

US sports network ESPN is setting up a new division dedicated to covering the exploding competitive gaming scene.

The Disney-owned company has launched an ESPN ESports section on its news website and plans to televise more coverage of high profile tournaments.

The network enjoyed great success with its coverage of the League of Legends championships in 2014, racking up 27 million viewers on its own platform.

Now, it seems, ESPN will dedicate more resources to televising major events, while gaming will now be featured during SportsCenter broadcasts alongside traditional sports like the NFL and NBA.

ESPN’s Chad Millman told the LA Times, the “storyline [around eSports] was so compelling that we decided there was no reason we shouldn’t be doing this on a daily basis with the same rigour we cover the National League Football or other sports.”

See also: What are eSports? A beginner's guide

While the firm hasn’t revealed specifics, it is focusing on online platforms for the time being, with Twitch broadcasts also being discussed.

Milan added: “Right now, we think the best opportunity is online, and that’s why we’re implanting ourselves in this space.”

The news comes months after ESPN lost a senior executive to Activision Blizzard, who left with the intention of setting up the ‘ESPN of gaming.’ Activision also boosted its ambitions in the sector by buying up Major League gaming last week.

It now seems ESPN is now pretty intent on establishing an ESPN of Gaming too.

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