NBC Sports announced Wednesday in partnership with FaceIt it a $100,000 Rocket League tournament that will be broadcast on both FaceIt’s platform and NBC Sports regional networks. Details of the event were first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
The tournament will be 2-v-2 format, and the early rounds will take place on FaceIt’s streaming platform. The tournament will begin with qualifiers in July that will be broadcast on FaceIt, and they will be divided into competitions for all eight NBC Sports Regional Networks, as well as additional American and European open qualifying regions, according to a news release. Competitors in the qualifier regions will then move to in-studio regional final competitions, and the tournament will culminate in a two-day, 16-team grand final Aug. 26-27.
The regional finals will be played at NBC Sports Regional Networks studios on the weekends of August 5-6 and August 12-13, and they will be live streamed on the NBC Sports app and Telemundo En Vivo app. Participating NBC Sports Regional Networks will televise the final hour of coverage from each of the regional finals.
The grand finals will be televised live in the U.S. on NBC Sports Network. They will also be broadcast on Syfy in the UK, Germany, Australia and multiple countries across Latin America.
According to Rob Simmelkjaer, senior vice president of NBC Sports Ventures, NBC is investing in the low millions, and said “esports has been something tough to ignore” with a reach of 85 million homes in the United States and a regional reach of half that amount. NBC wishes to separate itself with a Rocket League tournament rather than some of the more popular esports in the world.
This is not the first time esports will be broadcasted on television, as ESPN has broadcast events such as Heroes of the Storm’s collegiate tournament, Heroes of the Dorm, and the fighting games tournament EVO. More recently, TBS has broadcast ELEAGUE, which has featured two seasons of Counter-Strike, a Counter-Strike Major and a Street Fighter V event. ELEAGUE also recently announced an upcoming world championship for Injustice 2.
Cover photo courtesy of Psyonix/Slingshot illustration