E-Sports Gets A New Attraction With "Just Dance"

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

E-Sports Gets A New Attraction With "Just Dance"

The Electronic Sports World Cup has added a new event to its roster as the Ubisoft title “Just Dance” joins the ranks as the first ever casual game for the series. This is a move that may seem strange on the surface, but actually does a lot of good in the long run for the concept of professional gaming and e-sports.

Mechanically, the concept is fairly simple. A set of qualifying rounds will be established for “Just Dance” competitors running from June 24—so it's already started, really—to September 21. Out of all of these competitors, just 20 players will be selected for a final match to take place at Paris Games Week, where the best in the world will be determined. Meanwhile, those who'd rather not—or are unable to—hit an event, the World Dance Floor mode will have several qualifying sessions, including three in July—the 13th, the 20th, and the 27th—for qualification via remote.

Like I said earlier, this is great news. Not so much because “Just Dance” is a part of e-sports now, but because those who are putting together e-sports are willing to expand outward in terms of more games, but also in terms of more varied games. Granted, “Just Dance” sounds like a positively lunatic addition to a lineup heavy on the first person shooters and the MOBA titles, but it actually works out much better than might be expected. The more games in general that become part of e-sports, the more total reach it will have and the more appeal it will have. When the e-sports concept reaches a broad audience and resonates with a substantial portion of it, that increases the chance that said audience will become regular viewers.

We've already seen how e-sports is catching on, and getting large quantities of viewers in on the action, sufficient to actually surpass many regular sports' audiences. But in order to go all the way with it, the viewers have to be regular, which is exactly the kind of thing that's happening here. The more viewers can find their favorite games played, the more likely they are to watch, or even consider playing themselves. The more that e-sports viewers can think about—or even just fantasize about—joining the ranks of the professionals, the more emotionally invested that said viewers will be in the long term. That's a huge gain for the field, and is likely to help keep this concept afloat.

It's hard to deny that e-sports is taking off. But to maintain its upward momentum, the key is going to be to keep offering a wide enough variety to keep users interested and coming back for more. The better a job that e-sports in general can do on that front, the better off the entire concept is.

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