After watching the 2016 Evolution Championship on both Twitch and ESPN, I wanted to congratulate ESPN. Their presentation was definitely top notch and I commend them for having picked up the talent to cover the event. Hats off to Mike Ross, Gootecks, Seth Killian, James Chen, Wynton Smith and everyone else I failed to mention, you guys did great!
When I heard that ESPN was covering EVO 2016, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Seeing how this is still an E-sports event, I wasn’t sure if they were just going to ham it up or if they were going to go all out.
I’m happy to see that they definitely did put out all the stops. That stage was impressive, the commentary, I felt was superior to what was on Twitch/Capcomfighters and it had a noticeable amount of flair. They even got Bill Walton to admit that he was having fun at the event. Bill freaking Walton, a basketball analyst, who was covering EVO 2016 and loving it. Well done, ESPN.
And before anyone chimes in to complain about ESPN requiring Fuudo to use the “Story 1” costume, you have to factor in their audience. If the outfit was deemed too revealing, you know it was a decision that came from above. Oddly enough, they had no issue fully nude images in the ESPN body issue is fine. C’mon ESPN, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
However, I did have issues from time to time with their video player. It ranged from being completely choppy and pixelated to becoming completely unresponsible at times. However, when it did work, the coverage was great. So, I ask that ESPN, if you plan on covering more E-sport events, please look at overhauling how you stream the event. Perhaps look at having some sort of endorsement or advertisements that are specific to the event during breaks. It’s also time to rid of that flash based player and moving to an html5 player.
Keep it up ESPN! I’m sure the entire gaming community would love to see you covering more events. Don’t let this be the one and only event, as there are tons of other gaming events out there. Having ESPN and other networks covering those events will only help the studios covering them, the events that are putting on the show, as well as bridging a generation gap.