The League of Legends championship tournament is spread out across multiple European cities this year, and for the next leg — which takes place in London's iconic Wembley Arena — none other than the BBC will be streaming the proceedings. Starting October 15th, BBC Three will be offering live coverage of the quarterfinals online. This portion of the tournament will last for four days, and the broadcaster has enlisted the help of League casters Leigh "Deman" Smith and James "Stress" O'Leary, who will provide commentary during the matches.
While there are other ways to watch the tournament — it'll be streaming on both Twitch and YouTube — but the BBC broadcast promises to be a bit different. The broadcaster says it will be using the same tools previously reserved for live sports coverage, with a combination of "live video, prerecorded video, text, audio, and social commentary." League of Legends is among the most popular online games in the world, with close to 70 million monthly players, 27 million of whom play the game every day.
This isn't the first time a major broadcaster has experimented with e-sports; last year ESPN dabbled in live-streaming the massively popular Dota 2 annual championship, The International. The increasing popularity of e-sports has led to the formation of multiple new, large tournaments, including a season-long Call of Duty championship and the new Halo World Championship. Meanwhile, the phenomenon has also come under increasing scrutiny, with the ESL governing body now testing for performance-enhancing drugs in the wake of an Adderall controversy.