From left to right: Muhamad Nidzam Amran, Alex Myers, Linus Wecksell, Ron R Sumit, Terence Ting Image: Tapasri Saha
UCypher, India's first-ever televised eSports championship, reached its conclusion recently. The event sparked mixed reactions in the Indian gaming community and not all gamers in India were happy with MTV trying to squeeze in multiple full-length games within a mere 40-minute time slot. The inclusion of the not-so-popular mobile cricket game as a competitive eSports title alongside traditional ones such as Tekken and Dota 2, also raised some serious questions about the event organisation.
However, despite all its criticisms, the UCypher was a unique stem in the Indian gaming scene. To be fair to the organisers, the UCypher team put videos of the full games on YouTube, Twitch, MTV, Voot and UCypher website. According to unconfirmed rumours, the organisers are planning to expand and include popular titles such as Rocket League and FIFA in the next season. There are also rumblings of qualifiers for team selection in UCypher2. Those who are interested to participate in UCypher 2 can email with contact details and preferred game to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To look at it objectively, broadcast of gaming events do pose a challenge, considering the tricky format. The French Championships, where FIFA gamers representing Ligue 1 clubs play against each other, is broadcast on BeinTV. However, only highlights of the games are shown on TV, while the full games are uploaded on Youtube. Only the finals are telecast live. More time-consuming games like Dota 2 and CS:GO pose a even stiffer challenge for broadcasters.
So, at the end of the day, was UCypher a hit or a miss and what is the way forward? T2 Online got in touch with some eminent gamers and gaming personalities around the globe to know their views.
I think the concept of showing video games on television is really important for eSports to grow in a country. If we want to have the same audience as actual sports someday, we need to have the same opportunities as them, and we can only get those through being broadcasted on television. Being televised also means a lot for eSports players as well. Look at television shows such as ELeague for Street Fighter. It created a lot of opportunities for the contestants on that show. Some got much better contracts/sponsors solely from being on television because the sponsors knew how important it was to get their team/brand on television. Ideally, if there were more shows like ELeague for eSports, I think eSports would be accepted by a much bigger audience. Being broadcast on television is very important for our growth and I look forward to seeing where it will take us.
I think eSports on TV is a great step for the scene, because it brings in a new audience, and gives players a great shot at being seen.
In my opinion, eSports on TV is very good. It's not only a mean to market our passions but can also be a platform to educate youngsters, parents and even gamers about how eSports could benefit them.
Yeah, I believe eSports is the future and will eventually grow to become one of the biggest spectator sports in history. The growing investment and fan base across the world are encouraging signs that eSport is on the right track to becoming a legitimate world sport.
After watching Ucypher, I wish television channels here in Bangladesh also start showing a bit of eSports. I think TV reaches a huge number of viewers and it is going be a big boost for the gamers if they are seen constantly seen on TV.