This weekend, ESPN2 aired a preview for the grand finals of Dota 2's The International, the 10 million-dollar tournament for the very popular video game. The move is kind of a big deal — arguably, it grants competitive gaming more mainstream legitimacy. But not everyone was happy to see Dota 2 on ESPN.
You can watch the segment here thanks to Mitchell Chea — Gabe Newell appears at about the 20-minute mark:
Naturally, some folks were hyped about the whole thing:
But most folks seemed confused, irritated, if not downright angry about ESPN2 airing a video game:
Here's a preview of some of the negative tweets you'll find if you search 'ESPN2' on Twitter. Click on 'expand' to see the image in full:
Picture: Redditor nicnarcotic
The intense response might seem silly, but it kind of makes sense. The average sports fan might not necessarily know or care about Dota, and its broadcast on ESPN2 was a surprise even to gamers. Plus, gamers themselves have disputes about categorising gaming as a sport. None of this excuses people being mean about how Dota 2 players look, of course!
But to put this even further into perspective, here is the response that sports fans had to ESPN broadcasting soccer during the world cup, as posted by Redditor Vik1ng:
The response to Dota doesn't seem so bad now, huh? Heh.