Esports just made its way onto ‘The Simpsons’ — here’s why it matters
One of the most popular shows on Earth, known for their massive cultural influence and creepy af predictions made an episode, where Bart is a professional esports player.
In the episode “E my Sports” Bart gets a new computer and finds himself stuck as tight shorts in the ass with “Conflict of Enemies” based on Tencent-owned publisher Riot Games “League of Legends” game. Bart eventually travels to Seoul to play in a world championship match with his “couch” Homer, who of course is there because of the opportunity to earn money (best eports players nowadays make millions).
Co-executive producer Rob LaZebnik said the episode was meant to embody a “cultural tipping point” that has seen esports dominate a lot of conversation about the future of entertainment, sports, and media.
“I think it feels kind of inevitable. Obviously, video games have been around for a very long time now, and combine that with the fact that everyone is online and on his or her phone, [the expansion of esports] feels so inevitable to me,” says LaZebnik.
“League of Legends” has been the main catalyzer for the esports industry, bringing 100 million unique views with the 2018 World Championship finals. This comes as esports viewership and revenue overall have increased year on year.
Research firm Newzoo estimates that the global esports audience, which includes casual and dedicated viewers, will reach almost 454 million this year. Company sponsorships could account for up to 42 percent of the $1.1 billion in revenue projected by Newzoo.
Riot Games, which was consulted for the episode, says “The Simpsons’” focus on esports benefits the industry as a whole.
“We hope that this episode, on top of all the work we’re doing around the world establishing leagues that are working with leading brands like Nike and Mercedes-Benz, as well as the rising popularity of streamers and pro players, will make a real impact on how people view ‘League of Legends’ esports in the long term,” a Riot representative says.
The appearance of cybersports in The Simpson’s is like a new milestone for Western culture. Because there will be many kids out there who will empathize with this episode more than any other football, soccer or basketball episode they’ve created. It’s another proof that esports are here to stay!