Esports have slowly been gaining legitimacy through the sheer influence and scope they have. They've grown from being seen as something of a joke to legitimate sports competitions, and yet there are still many people that do not see esports as the challenge they are. Well it seems Hulu has at least decided to give them a shot, and will be airing four original series on esports sometime this Fall.
Hulu is partnering with the ESL, who will produce and develop each series, to bring this content to their viewers. Both sides seem excited about this deal, and this is the first time ESL has made an original series for an on demand streaming service. In fact, esports have been broadcast live many times before, even on television, but this may be the first time they'll be on an on demand streaming service.
The four new shows are called, Player vs Player, Bootcamp, Defining Moments, and ESL Replay. Player vs Player is a quiz show where esports personalities will test their knowledge on various topics in esports culminating in a "challenge over a classic video game." Bootcamp is a documentary series following the Immortals (a top CS:GO team) as they rebuild their team before IEM Oakland on November 18-19. This will show their extensive screening process, the trials potential players have to go through after that, and the intense daily practice sessions necessary to stay a top team. Defining Moments will take a look back at the most important moments in esports history, and will feature interviews from anyone who can add to the conversation from sports scientists to game designers to fans. Lastly, ESL Replay will be a recap of four of the biggest esports tournaments focusing on the biggest moments, and will include behind the scenes footage and in depth analysis not seen during the live stream. Each episode of Replay will air within a week of the live event it is covering.
Too often esports are not taken seriously. They're a growing force whether people like it or not, and Hulu seems to recognize that. It seems like they're at least testing the waters to see how well these do. However, signing a deal to put on four shows at once seems like a bit more than just a test to me. What are your thoughts on it? Do you think Hulu decision makers really believe esports shows will be successful?