US audiences have already seen several ELeague broadcasts on TBS over the past few weeks, but this one is a biggie: NBC Sports will be broadcasting a $100k Rocket League tournament, marking the first time that an eSports event has made its way on to what would generally be considered a “major” national television network.
The event in question will take advantage of the FACEIT platform in a 2v2 international competition. Regionals will be streamed live on the NBC Sports and Telemundo En Vivo apps on August 5-6 and August 12-13, with some regional NBC Sports channels broadcasting the final hour of each event. The Grand Finals will air on August 26th and 27th on NBCSN and multiple channels across the globe, where 16 teams will square off for the $100k prize pool.
According to NBC Sports Ventures Senior VP Rob Simmelkjaer, the event will receive the same level of coverage that regular viewers expect from the network. “It all begins with NBC Sports Regional Networks, allowing us to super-serve eSports fans the same way we serve traditional sports fans,” said Simmelkjaer.
With all due respect to the ELeague broadcasts on TBS, this is huge news for eSports legitimacy. While we’re still a long way from seeing digital competition receive the same amount of respect as an NFL or MLB broadcast, the importance of this step for eSports cannot be understated. Rocket League is an easy to follow choice for those new to eSports as well, so we hope that this event does exceedingly well!