Riot: Good commentators are key to bringing e-sports to a wider audience

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Speaking at Gamescom last month, Riot’s CEO Brandon Beck told us that it’s not just bigger cash prizes and larger competitions that will attract more fans to e-sports, but also the ability of e-commentators to help spectators understand and relate to the game.

“The
Olympics do a remarkable job at welcoming a new viewer to a sport

they’ve never thought about,” he said. “The commentators really suck us
in because they give us some high-level context of the sport. They tell
us about the Ukrainian player who was an orphan who had to dash in her
own ice skates made out of scrap metal that she found when she was
fourteen years old, and she’s has been training every day since then.
And we’re pulled in, and I think one of the things that e-sports will
ultimately have to excel at is making this sport accessible to a wider
audience.”

He
also said this could also make character selection in League of
Legends, which can sometimes be a slow start to a game, a lot more
exciting for viewers. “Team picking is actually fascinating, but it’s on
the broadcasters to really share that insight at the highest level,
share why teams are picking the way they’re picking and all of the
strategy that’s going into the picks and the counter-picks,” he said,
adding that he hoped future e-sport broadcasts would let us in on the
discussions that teams make during this period of preparation. “We’re
trying to figure out a way to do is actually get the team chat during
that phase into the broadcast, because it’s fascinating to hear the
discussions that take place.”