Esports has reached a “cultural tipping point” after being featured in an episode of The Simpsons.
On Sunday’s episode in the US, titled E My Sports, Bart became obsessed with a game called Conflict of Enemies. He ends up travelling to Seoul to play in a world championship match with Homer acting as coach after the latter finds out how much money can be made in esports.
According to The Simpsons’ co-executive producer Rob LaZebnik the episode was meant to embody a “cultural tipping point” as esports crosses over into the mainstream media.
He told CNBC: “I think it feels kind of inevitable. Obviously, video games have been around for a very long time now, and combine that with the fact that everyone is online and on his or her phone, [the expansion of esports] feels so inevitable to me.”
The Simpsons‘ producers visited the training facilities of one of the world’s oldest esports teams, Team Liquid, for research. Team Liquid co-owner Steve Arhancet told CNBC he views the episode as a way to reach out to the esports generation: “There’s many young kids out there who will empathise with this episode more than any other football, soccer or basketball episode they’ve created — just like I would have,” he said. “It’s another milestone that shows esports is here to stay.”