Stage One of the Overwatch League finals broadcasted on ABC in what many considered to be esports’ first foray into mainstream television - but some viewers weren’t happy with the development.
Esports analyst Rod Breslau uploaded a slew of outrageous reactions to ABC’s programming on Twitter, with some users vehemently decrying the esport being shown on TV.
“You know the kids are screwed!” one critic wrote. “...out of shape kids with tiny balls and girls who have more testosterone than the boys. Over watch.”
IT HAS BEGUN AGAIN, NOW FT FACEBOOK pic.twitter.com/yto9d3ZXH8— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) March 24, 2019
“THIS IS THE END!” another bemoaned. “You have got to be kidding me! Your network has FRICKING KIDS PLAYING VIDEO GAMES on Sunday. FOR 3 PHKING HOURS?”
The esports community had a range of reactions to the hate, with MLG co-founder Michael Sepso comparing criticism of OWL’s spot on ABC to hate toward extreme sports and rap music.
I truly love the hate.— Michael Sepso (@msepso) March 23, 2019
Adding it to greatest hits like “this rapping is just shouting words, it isn’t music!”
And “skateboarding and bmx is a kids’ hobby, not a sport!”
And my all time fave from my gran around 1995 “I don’t know what the internet is, but I know it’s scary!” pic.twitter.com/BV8o7JWjAF
“I truly love the hate,” Sepso wrote. “Adding it to greatest hits like, ‘This rapping is just shouting words, it isn’t music!’ and ‘skateboarding and BMX is a kids’ hobby, not a sport!’”
“YES!!!” wrote Hearthstone champ and caster Petr Žalud. “NORMIES OF THE WORLD, PREPARE FOR US!!!”
YES!!! NORMIES OF THE WORLD, PREPARE FOR US!!!— Petr Žalud (@TrueCzechCloud) March 23, 2019
It is worth noting that much of the outrage around OWL’s TV spot is centered around March Madness, a major basketball tournament that airs throughout the month of March.
While many were expecting to watch a basketball game, they were met with esports, instead - prompting an outpouring of angry posts.
However, one critic appeared to turn a new leaf, after taking some time to watch the League despite his initial misgivings.
“The more I watch shit, the more I really like it,” the former-critic-turned-fan wrote. “Sold, it’s a skill just like sports. I stand corrected, this is awesome.”
UNEXPECTED: WE HAVE A REVERSAL AND A NEW FAN OF ESPORTS BECAUSE OF TV GIVE HIM A WARM WELCOME FAM pic.twitter.com/g7HAPnB1nJ— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) March 24, 2019
The Vancouver Titans have since taken the OWL Stage 1 Finals 4-3, after an intense back and forth match against the San Francisco Shock.