Late last week, the Adelaide Crows squared off against the Essendon Bombers at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium. It was a pretty bruising encounter, with Essendon coming back from a 20 point deficit in the final quarter to win 99 (14.15) to 87 (12.15).
But midway through the final quarter, while the Crows were still 14 points ahead, the commentators deviated from the action to have a go at something else in the crowd.
The Bombers, which entered esports just before Christmas last year, was being cheered on by their in-house League of Legends team. The camera panned to the crew, prompting commentator and Triple M broadcaster Brian Taylor to make some remarks on their appearance:
“All boys, the League of Legends, they all look rather unique in their own way, gadget-type operators,” Taylor remarked.
“How can they all be unique BT,” Bruce McAvaney asked.
“Because they’re all difference Bruce … computer-type boffins,” Taylor continued. “There’s some real nerds in amongst them too … there they are, this is the esports team.”
Not to be outdone, Taylor later went into the Bombers’ locker room to conduct a series of post-game interviews. He ran into the League players again, this time in their full kit, and launched into an impromptu explainer about League and esports on national TV (from 2m 51s).
“Have a look at em – not the normal football following type, but very good at pushing buttons and going left and right,” Taylor quipped, with his fellow commentators giggling in the background.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but as per the Bombers’ original announcement, but sports is changing – and esports is a large part of that. Might be worth getting on board.