So, I’m just coming up for air after two absolutely insane weeks on vacation in Europe – and I see that the Hearthstone Spring Championship has come and gone. I did my best to keep up on gaming news while I was out there, and I had every intention of at least putting out one blog about it, but there comes a time in every man’s life where he needs to prioritize – and I gotta say, shots of Limoncello and truffle raviolis with porcini mushrooms just happened to come out on top of blogging this time. Tough life, I know.
Anyway, you’ve probably all heard and/or read by now that the biggest baller on the face of the earth, Mr. Robert Kraft, has purchased an Overwatch eSports team. He’s not the first big-time sports exec that’s bought an eSports team, and judging by the way eSports is steamrolling into the mainstream sports media, he absolutely will not be the last.
With more and more friends of mine who typically don’t pay attention to games other than Call of Duty or Madden or ‘Chel turning their attention to eSports news, gambling odds, and outcomes, this question has been on my mind nonstop: will “conventional” sports traditions start to bleed into eSports culture? I’ve blogged about this before, and I’ll say it again – I think it’s time to start tailgating big-time eSports events.
Now, I’m not necessarily talking about the type of tailgates where fans power bomb each other through plastic tables (though this would be acceptable), but I’m talking about informal social gatherings prior to these events where fans can network, yell, drink, and stuff themselves full of grilled meats before the big game. Tailgating is just as much a part of American sports culture as jerseys and gambling, and if eSports continues to grow the way it has been, I think it’s absolutely inevitable that fans bring this time-honored pre-game celebration to the electronic sports world.
Imagine, when Dreamhack Montreal rolls around, you pull into the parking lot and see three fucking colossal flags, one with the glorious Wicked Good Gaming logo, one gigantic American flag, and one emblazoned with an American eSports team logo on it. Unreal. Beneath those banners? A huge tent where fans, old and new, are absolutely DELETING Miller Lites and Molson Drys while flipping sausages and burgers on a modest-sized Weber grill. All the smells, sounds, and sights of a glorious football tailgate – but we’re all about to file in and watch some eSports athletes play Hearthstone and CS:GO instead. I don’t know about you, but I just absolutely sold myself on the idea. eSports Tailgates are about to blow up this year, book it.