Is Brazil about to settle the argument about whether esports can succeed on TV? Last month, SporTV broadcast the Brazilian League of Legends final for the first time live on television. This week, Riot Games Brazil reports that the regional final was spectated by 2.1 million total spectators. But only 700,000 of those were on the tournament’s online streams across Twitch, Azubu, and YouTube.
That means that the CBLoL final—where INTZ qualified for the International Wild Card tournament—had a television audience that doubled its internet viewership, with almost 1.4 million eyeballs.
Even before the final, Roberto Iervolino, general manager of Riot Brazil, explained the approach towards TV Networks:
“TV is another way to get to the players, so I do not think it’s fair to say that TV needs esports, or esports doesn’t need TV. In fact, I think esports need all of the available mediums, and TV is one of them. […] For us, the more means of communication, the better, because it will get more people in.”
It seems like the strategy of diversity in the means to transmit the competitions paid off. No response yet from Riot, though, who in North America have only managed to get its game relegated to special programming on ESPN during the weekend.
But that doesn’t mean that esports doesn’t have a bright esports future. SporTV has also broadcast multiple ESL tournaments this year—and the American basic cable station TBS also produced and aired its CS:GO ELEAGUE over the summer, with plans this fall to do a second season, along with another league for Overwatch.