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Our Crack Tongue & Groove

esports.jpg What fresh hell is this?

Sky are to air the UK’s first ever 24-hour eSports TV channel. Quick! Pass that remote and throw me over a family size bag of Doritos!

When you get down to the nubbins of it, all TV is basically looking at people doing stuff. Tune in to Breaking Bad and you’re effectively watching actors pretending to be drug dealers; accidentally catch Emmerdale and you’re watching people pretending to be actors. Turn on BBC 1 any night of the week and you’ll see a sweaty man being criticised for the piquancy of his hollandaise sauce; turn on Channel 5 and you’ll see someone receiving state aid while being belittled to a soundtrack of comedy incidental music. Thanks to Gogglebox we’ve even got TV featuring other people watching TV. But a channel devoted to eSports is taking ‘watching people doing stuff’ to another level entirely.

If you’re not familiar with the concept then you should know that eSports has nothing to do with competitive gurning. It’s videogaming, and this new channel will let you watch 20-somethings play Angry Birds, 24/7. I say Angry Birds; these Red Bull guzzling spods are more likely to be playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, StarCraft II or My Imaginary Girlfriend: What’s It Like To Kiss Someone?

There’s even a clamour to get these games into the Olympics, but these glorified versions of Pac Man should never be classified as sports. A sport is something that was invented by Victorian Britons, which, in time, was taken up by the whole world who, today, take great pleasure in handing us our arses back in said sport.

So, no, I really can’t see this eSports channel finding an audience and amen to that. (Although I never thought I’d see the day when people would pay to have infantile shit like wrestling on their tellies – basically sport for people who don’t like sport - and look what’s happened with that.)