If you visited the BBC Sport website this Sunday you might have noticed a surprising inclusion. Nestled among articles about the cricket, Formula One and football was a report about esports. The game in question was Rocket League, with the subject of the article a dramatic comeback as Team Infused fought back from 2-0 down to secure a last-gasp victory over Prophecy.
This follows the recent announcement from the BBC that over the next six weekends they’d be covering the Gfinity Elite League via the BBC Three website and iPlayer. Currently taking place in London, this fledgling sports tournament sees 160 gamers from eight teams battling it out for prizes totaling £225,000. As well as the aforementioned Rocket League, the other games featured are Street Fighter V and Counter-Strike.
This isn’t the first time the BBC has reported on esports (the 2015 League of Legends World Championship springs to mind), but as far as I’m aware it’s the first time they’ve been featured on the main page of the BBC Sports site. Meanwhile the fact that they’ve been allocated dedicated coverage (four hours of live footage each weekend) shows a definite increase in the profile of esports in the UK.
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