OT: Big Ten esports

Submitted by teepodum on January 20th, 2017 at 11:12 AM


Big Ten Network and game publisher Riot Games will announce a partnership on Thursday, where 12 of 14 schools in the conference will compete in a season-long League of Legends championship.  The league will start Jan. 30 and will be broadcast on BTN2Go and watch.lolesports.com, with the finals televised on March 27 by the Big Ten Network

So if you're bored with the basketball and hockey teams, there might be something new for some of you to check out.  Looks like everyone in the B10 other than PSU and Nebraska will be taking part.  I'm think Michigan has a pretty good team.


As a background, League of Legends is the most popular video game in the world, with over 100 million people playing every month.  Recently some professional sports teams have begun investing into esports.  Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks both own professional LOL teams.   Former NBA player Rick Fox owns a team as well and is very personally involved in roster management.  Shaq and A-Rod have also invested in teams.  This is something you will be hearing more and more of in the future.


Here is Michigan playing against OSU recently (Best of 5 series. You can find the rest of the games easily enough if you're interested):






Cali Wolverine

January 20th, 2017 at 12:19 PM ^

...so poker has that going for it. These posts remind me of a friend's kid that goes on YouTube and watches other kids unwrap presents and watches a bunch of schlubs play Mario Brothers. I asked why don't you just like to play the game yourself or unwrap your own presents and my friend's son said it was more fun to watch other people. Umm....ok.


January 20th, 2017 at 1:24 PM ^

"I never understood why people are so protective of the boundaries of ill-defined concepts.

You all know what competitive computer games are, regardless of if you agree on if they are to be called a sport, so what difference does it make?"


What in the world are you talking about?????!?!


Sport is not an "ill-definied" concept.  It is a defined word.  Words have meaning.  We just can't ignore the meaning because people slightly bastardize its usage in the past.  A sport is "an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment."


And it doesn't matter which dictionary you use, they seem to all refer to "sport" involving physical exertion or activity.  Sitting on a couch does not qualify. 


Sorry, you are a gamer, not an athlete.  Unless you think "athlete" is ill-defined?  I guess all words are ill-defined if you are willing to mis-use them at will.


Now, get off my lawn!!

UM Fan from Sydney

January 20th, 2017 at 1:34 PM ^

I don't think anyone calls gamers "athletes." You just made that up. Anyway, times change. Meanings of words can also change to include other things or people. Esports can certainly be called a sport in 2017.

"of a competitive nature"

Esports feature people competing against others. While I think racing cars is stupid and a huge waste of gasoline, it's still classified as a sport. NASCAR is just a bunch of dudes making left turns for three or four hours, after all.


January 20th, 2017 at 2:57 PM ^

That's right.  The meaning of words can change over time.  That usually happens when people are sloppy with how they use words.  It happens when people think "well that is close to what I mean" or something along those lines.

But, that just means that we shouldn't let that happen.  We shouldn't let the youth think they are playing a sport/  We shouldn't give way to an effort to re-brand gaming as something that has the illusion of activity in order to make it seem less sedentary. 


Here, and industry and its denziens are attempting to change the narrative by mis-using the Engligh language.  And, you know they are doing it to feel better about themselves because of how hard they fight to defend their "association" with sports.  It legitimizes something that is just lazy recreation.


(There is a place for lazy recreation in life in moderation.)


January 20th, 2017 at 3:52 PM ^

By the above definition of sport, if I go windsurfing, it's not sport because there is no other team.

I would think almost everyone would agree that windsurfing, rock climbing, etc *are* sports, (or historically were until the word evolved) and when you start to involve rules and points, it becomes more of a game (not that something can't be both)

Secondly, if we want to be purist and protective of the meaning of words, rest assured that it isn't called "sport", it's called "esport". It's a different word with a different meaning. The words aptly share some similarity as esports also require practice, teamwork, recreation, competition, etc.

I really don't see what the problem is.


January 20th, 2017 at 1:51 PM ^

NCAA just ruled that northern teams cannot play egames during winter months since it offers those schools an unfair advantage vs the SEC who due to non-winter conditions spend less time inside.


January 20th, 2017 at 11:49 AM ^

Not many people refer to hunting as a "sport."  Hunting is hunting.


Second, people are upset by the name eSports because it is a weakly veiled attempt to rebrand "gaming" as something that does not involve lazy people sitting in front of theit computers for hours and hours as a form of "recreation."


Go outside and kick a ball.  Be healthy and active.  Don't drag a word, such as "sport" down to your level to describe something that is almost the opposite.  Its just sad.



UM Fan from Sydney

January 20th, 2017 at 12:04 PM ^

Stop. Just stop with the "go outside" bull shit. This is not 1925. What's the difference between watching TV/movies and playing video games? At least with video games, the person is able to have an effect on the outcome. It's not being lazy. It's just another mode of entertainment in this world.

EDIT: And yes, hunting is traditionally classified as a sport, even though it is not. Hunting for food - I get it. "Hunting for sport" (yes, many people use that term to differentiate the reasons for hunting) is asinine and should be illegal. Yes, human. You're such a bad ass with your gun or bow and arrow. You're just so manly to have killed an innocent animal. Before you think I'm a far left liberal, you're wrong, as I traditionally side with the right. I just believe in animal rights.


January 20th, 2017 at 1:08 PM ^

Yes, you can be active and still play video games.  I don't know if you can be really good at them on a national level and still be active, but it isn't completely impossible.


Of course, it isn't likely and it is much more likely that your should lmit your "sitting" entertainment for your health and not glorify it as "sport" or worthy of "fans."

death by trident

January 20th, 2017 at 8:07 PM ^

Hello uninformed and ignorant poster - do yourself a favor.  Google top 20 LOL players and find their images.  Do you see a bunch of fatasses?  I'll save you the time if you're too lazy to look for yourself - you won't.  There is a pretty wide mix of athletic looking guys, pale faced skinny guys, and some that could stand to lose a few pounds.  Your narrative of people that play video games are all fat and lazy is old and tiring.  Generalizations will tend to do that though, which is how you've chosen to make your point in this thread.  I think you could stand to take some time away from the keyboard and go outside and kick a ball around or something.


January 20th, 2017 at 1:06 PM ^

Playing video games is no different from watching TV.  Neither s a sport.  And, yes, both groups should get outside more. 


It s lazy to spend hours on your ass in any mode of entertainment as opposed to doing something active.  In fact, that is almost the definition of lazy.


As for the description of hunting I am familiar with it being refered to as "hunting for sport" but also that the term is not used to lump it with other sports. 


Also, most people don't use the term "for sport" to describe hunting (maybe because no one in America NEEDS to hunt for food and it is really all "for sport")

UM Fan from Sydney

January 20th, 2017 at 1:25 PM ^

You sound like a fool. It's not being lazy. People are going to do what they like doing. What if I like taking drives in the scenic mountains? Is that lazy? After all, I'm just sitting in a car and looking at stuff. That isn't being really active. The days of going outside and kicking a ball with your friends are pretty much over. Sure, some people like doing that still, but with all of the in-home modes of entertainment these days, it's not hard to see that most people prefer those.


January 20th, 2017 at 1:34 PM ^

that is DEFINITELY a sport.  And I can prove it --- 3 credits of phys ed were required for graduation at my alma mater (Penn State) and I took ice fishing as a 1.5-credit class!

Seriously, I do agree with you.  If people are doing stuff that they like doing - good for them.  Who cares if one activity is "more physically active" versus another?


January 20th, 2017 at 3:01 PM ^

Do what you like if it doesn't harm others.


Just don't polsh a turd and call it jewelry.  Be honest with yourself. 


I sit and watch movies.  I have played video games for hours on end in the past.  I liked it and don't regret it, but I know I need to move around and that I didn't just engage in a sport.  I am not proud of binge-watching shows.  You really shouldn't take pride.  Do it if you want, but don't invite people over to watch you do it.  Now you are just glorifying the sedentary lifestyle into something to be emulated.


Its kind of like junk food  Eat it if you want.  Enjoy.  Just know you can't over-indulge or it will be a little bad for your health.  And don't pretend that it isn't bad for you or glorify it.  Be honest.


If you eat a whole sleeve of Oreos and down a 2 liter of Mountain Dew you should feel bad about yourself a little.  That is a good and healthy feeling.  Likewise, if you spend 10 hours a day playing video games, you should feel a little bad about yourself.  In either case, though, you shouldn't glorify it.....


January 20th, 2017 at 1:35 PM ^

"You sound like a fool. It's not being lazy. People are going to do what they like doing."

So, if you "like it", then its not "lazy"?  Is that some form of logic?


"What if I like taking drives in the scenic mountains? Is that lazy? After all, I'm just sitting in a car and looking at stuff. That isn't being really active."


Agreed.  It is not active.  It is sitting.  Its not as lazy as gaming (i.e., not controlling a motor vehicle), but it is still sedentary and definitely not a sport to look at mountains from a car.


"The days of going outside and kicking a ball with your friends are pretty much over. Sure, some people like doing that still, but with all of the in-home modes of entertainment these days, it's not hard to see that most people prefer those.

Your existence (and our future) is sad if you truly believe that. Think about it......


I don't think you do.  Otherwise, I can't wait....






January 20th, 2017 at 2:14 PM ^

Think about the ignorance of my comment?  It's actually well-known that it's impossible, or at least extremely difficult to come up with a definition of sport that contains all things commonly regarded as sports.  Defining "sport" is a problem in metaphysics that people haven't been able to solve.

But if only these philosophers had just read what you said!  Yes, from this day, from this moment forth, people can rest easy that a fundamental problem has been solved.  To think it was solved on a corner of Mgoblog!

I'll be right there in the audience clapping for you when you receive your medal, you genius!