ESPN Commentator Who Criticized Esports Coverage Leaves Network
Earlier this year, ESPN took a major step into Esports coverage with Blizzard’s collegiate Heroes of the Dorm tournament. The Heroes of the Storm event drew a great deal of interest, though some of ESPN’s own staff weren’t quite happy with it.
In April, Colin Cowherd stated that he’d quit if forced to cover Esports. "Somebody lock the basement door at mom's house and don't let 'em out," he said at the time. "I tagged out at Harry Potter. I tolerated Donkey Kong. I'll tell you what that was the equivalent of there: of me putting a gun in my mouth and having to listen to that. Unbelievable. You know what the funny thing is? Listen to how intense they are. Those guys are totally into it."
Today, Cowherd and ESPN have parted ways. “We’ve enjoyed a mutually beneficial run with Colin for over a decade,” writes ESPN president John Skipper. “He came to national prominence on ESPN with his unique perspective on sports and society. Endings also bring new beginnings, for ESPN and Colin, and we thank him and wish him the best.”
While there’s no link between Cowherd’s statements and his departure, at least he won’t be forced to cover Esports (or have to tolerate his employer doing so). Given the growing popularity on top of an already enormous fan base (and an ESPN Magazine issue devoted to the subject), I suspect we’ll be seeing more coverage on the network.