A new documentary asks: will e-sports ever go mainstream?

A work-in-progress cut of All Work All Play, a documentary that focuses on the rise of e-sports and some of the best competitive teams in the world, just premiered at the TriBeCa Film Festival. All Work All Play profiles a few professional League of Legends teams as well as the programming director of the Electronic Sports League, Michal “Carmac” Blicharz. The film attempts to bring the viewer into the world of competitive gaming while constantly making comparisons to other professional sports by highlighting team changes, grandiose spectacles, intense crowds, and broadcasters.

I watch a lot of let’s plays on YouTube, and as far as e-sports go, I only watch the various League of Legends championships, most notably the European and North-American leagues. The idea of watching other people play games is easier to explain if you dig back into your gaming childhood, which for me, meant playing games on the NES, SNES, and PC with friends. A large portion of the time, you would not be the one playing; you’d be one of the people watching.

I have a feeling the surge in let’s plays and e-sports has its roots in that. There’s something relaxing – and in the case of e-sports, exhilarating – about watching other people play the games you love.


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