US ESPN radio host Colin Cowherd has expressed his desire never to cover video games as part of his job, even saying he would sooner retire than be forced to. This happened in the wake of ESPN2 airing a tournament of multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game Heroes of the Storm this past weekend (26 April).
The response from ESPN viewers on Twitter wasn't great, and neither was that of Cowherd, who said on air: "Here's what's going to get me off the air. If I am ever forced to cover guys playing video games, I will retire. You want me out? Demand video game tournaments on ESPN because that's what appeared on ESPN2 yesterday."
Cowherd's rant included a few mistakes, including saying the game was League of Legends and not Heroes of the Storm and mispronouncing publishers Blizzard's name, as he repeated his insistence that he would retire over clips from the tournament – which was called Heroes of the Dorm.
"Somebody lock the basement door at mum's house and don't let them out," he said before once again stating his intent. He also played sound clips from old-school video games and took further potshots at video game culture.
Quite whether eSports should be considered alongside sports like football and basketball is an ongoing debate not just between those who dislike eSports but also among its fans. Do eSports need the validation? Just how physically demanding can pro-gaming be?
The debate rolls on, but I think we can all agree that if Colin Cowherd were to retire over this – he wouldn't be missed.