Check Out ESPN's Coverage of 'Magic: The Gathering' World Championship From The Year 2000


Competitive video games players have long clamored for parties such as ESPN and Fox Sports to cover eSports like they do traditional sports. The reasons are perhaps obvious; for one, it gives a sense validity to their sport, to know that being an excellent StarCraft is somewhat on the same level as basketball. Or synchronized gymnastics at least.

And given that League of Legends are now recognized as athletes by the US government, perhaps it's a matter of time before we see their showdowns on prime time television. But what about those who play non-electronic games? Isn't someone who's really good at Magic an athlete as well?

Well, that's what ESPN figured, maybe, back in 2000, when they decided to air the Magic: The Gathering World Championship:

The above shows the all sports network giving it their best shot, with expert commentary and the action presented in the most exciting manner possible. Unfortunately it never caught on with audiences.

Yet professional poker gets regular coverage, and that's also just dudes playing cards, what the difference? Accessibility for one; it definitely helps that most regular folk understand poker, which is also not nearly as complex as Magic.

One of the reasons why Major League Gaming and their coverage of StarCraft gets so much accolades is that their commentators try their very best to frame the action to newbies every chance they get. But even then, it's not the easiest thing to process on TV.

[via Reddit]

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