BBC 3 to broadcast Gfinity Elite Series, sending some non-esports fans into meltdown on Twitter

Series One of the London-based Gfinity Elite Series tournament will be available to watch on BBC 3 and BBC iPlayer, and some aren't happy (see 'Reaction' below).

BBC said it's 'the first deal of its kind' in this announcement post. It will broadcast four hours of coverage every weekend for the next six weeks.

The British broadcaster made the announcement on Twitter, and said it was the first time ever esports are coming to BBC 3. However, that's not technically true as it already broadcast the League of Legends World Championship in late 2015 and the Supergamers documentary in early 2016).

It's worth noting that BBC 3 is not a TV channel, it's an online-only offering aimed at a younger demographic.

The news comes after Gfinity revamped its Arena in Fulham Broadway to have more of a TV-style studio feel, and signed a global Elite Series TV deal.

This means that coverage of the Elite Series will air in the UK, US, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Poland, Singapore and Taiwan,

The Elite Series is a three-game tournament with a £225,000 prize pool. It includes eight teams, some based in the UK and other bigger orgs like Epsilon and EnvyUs are also taking part. See more info on those taking part here.

BBC will broadcast the Street Fighter V matches from 9pm on Fridays, while CSGO matches will be covered from 9pm on Saturdays. Then on Sundays, Rocket League action will take place from 5pm.

The first coverage gets underway this evening (Friday July 28th).

 

"This is an incredible moment for the Gfinity Elite Series and for esports fans in the UK and internationally."
Neville Upton, Gfinity

 

Neville Upton, CEO of Gfinity, said: "This is an incredible moment for the Gfinity Elite Series and for esports fans in the UK and internationally.

"Our partnership with BBC Three will bring Elite Series live and lifestyle content to millions of new viewers and showcase the incredible dedication and passion of professional gamers."

Damian Kavanagh, Controller at BBC Three, added: "Esports has become hugely popular in the last few years with young audiences, so it’s great that BBC Three can bring this to a mainstream audience and create new habits with younger audiences as we stream three of the most popular games on BBC Three across the weekend."

The BBC has had a mixed foray into the world of esports coverage. It's done a decent job with the League of Legends Worlds and Supergamers documentary, but a poor job of news reporting and understanding what esports is and how it works.

The problem lies with BBC's size, there are so many news teams that work independently from one another and don't properly share information internally.

You can watch the Elite Series on BBC Three or BBC iPlayer.

 

Reaction

We've included a mix of esports industry folk and some outside of esports.

 

Further reading

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  1. […] BBC 3 to broadcast Gfinity Elite Series, sending some non-esports fans into meltdown on Twitter  eSports News UK (press release) (blog) […]

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