Esports has been a booming industry for the past few years, and it was only a matter of time until someone tried making an esports-focused TV show. How did that attempt fare? Let’s talk about that.
What is a scripted television show?
A scripted television show is one where everything happens in a pre-determined way. The show’s writers have already established the actors’ lines, the events, and the outcome of each episode, and everyone on set is aware of it.
These kinds of shows usually focus on entertainment, comedy, or some combination of the two. Think of something like Friends or The Big Bang Theory, and you’ll get the idea. Like Steve Irwin’s The Crocodile Hunter, other shows are informative but still follow some kind of scripted outline.
The Squad and Echo Fox
One of the shows that focuses on esports is a show called The Squad, which was put forward by Warner Bros. While details on the show are scarce, the supposed premise of the show will be about a group of friends who find common ground in their love of esports.
We know for sure it will feature some of the people involved with The Big Bang Theory. It will be produced by Alcide Bava, the production company of Big Bang Theory actor Johnny Galecki, for starters.
Anthony Del Broccolo, co-executive producer, and writer of Big Bang Theory, will also work on the show alongside Galecki, Holly Brown, and Cory Wood of Alcide Bava.
The second esports-related show in the works is a Rick Fox-focused autobiographical comedy that will air on CBS. For those who are unaware, Rick Fox had his esports organization called Echo Fox before it was disbanded in November of 2019.
No other information is known about when either show is coming out or even still developing. The latest information we have is the EsportsTalk report from January of 2020.
How are esports represented in the space already?
In the public’s eye, esports aren’t seen as sports or just video games. On the business side of things, they are a booming industry worth millions of dollars of investments. The latter has even been highlighted in the last season of the HBO comedy-drama series Ballers.
This drama shows how serious the prospect of the esports industry is to business people worldwide. Companies that have never been involved in video games before, like Buffalo Wild Wings and KIA, are investing in team sponsorships for an industry that is set to grow to $1.2 billion in 2021, according to Newzoo.
What kind of effects will this have on the community in the future?
It’s unlikely that esports fans will care much for esports-related scripted TV shows. The esports community gets its entertainment from watching the Twitch streams of their favorite streamers or professional players or watching professional matches.
There is also a case to be made that TV writers will not represent the esports community properly. The writers of the two shows above have no prior involvement in esports and likely no knowledge of how the community functions apart from what is covered in the media.
The first sentence in the video teaser for the last season of Ballers called esports “overhyped and overvalued.” That’s not a good way to introduce esports to an audience that might not be familiar with the space. There has yet to be an esports-focused TV show that has been successful, and if that first sentence of Ballers set the tone for future esports TV shows, they likely never will.