The NHL plans to become the following specialist sports league to launch its own esports equivalent. Commissioner Gary Bettman spoke to the media on Saturday evening before the start off of the 2018 NHL All-Star weekend and confirmed what we had heard rumblings of for any couple of months now – that the league will unveil an esports league.
As outlined by Greg Wyshynski of ESPN, the NHL will take the plunge ahead of the finish with the regular season when it unveils its esports league centered around its EA Sports game.
Earlier this week, ESPN and Disney joined forces to announce they will be broadcast the Madden Ultimate League for the NFL. The NBA also has plans for an esports league, as 17 teams lately place out their logos for the NBA 2K league set to arrive in May well.
The NHL’s foray into esports has been around the radar for awhile now. Back in November, Elliotte Friedman hinted in the prospect in among his 31 Thoughts columns, saying that the league’s program will be to “start small” using the new venture then build into some thing sustainable. The NHL has been discussing esports as a potential spot to branch out as far back as Dec. 2016 throughout its annual Board of Governors meetings.
Now seems to become one of the ideal times to have into the esports boom. Well known esports games like League of Legends, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive have already been mainstays in the industry. Lately, common first-person hero shooter Overwatch has made headlines as being among the list of 1st esports to make its own league that functions pretty a lot like an expert sports league does. The league is already carrying out effectively among esports fans and the general populace alike, as the league’s 1st week had higher ratings than Thursday Night Football’s streaming solutions.
Hockey currently includes a bit of an idea of how an esports league performs, as Comcast Spectacor – which owns the Philadelphia Flyers – would be the backer on the Philadelphia Fusion Overwatch League team. The Fusion share the exact same colors because the Flyers, as well as the Overwatch League team has been promoted for the duration of household games and around the sideboards within the arena.
NHL 18 does have quite the on line presence, as the game’s 6-on-6 team modes are extremely common amongst hockey fans. For some, the greatest draw to NHL 18 will be the capacity to play on the internet with close friends or against random competitors.
How the NHL decides to construct an esports league around the game, irrespective of whether possessing 31 teams right off the bat or settle for any smaller number about 10 or so, remains to become observed. In any case, the NHL won’t be far behind the NFL and NBA inside the esports boom.