In a trailer shared by the official DreamHack Twitter account yesterday afternoon, Jeff Goldblum’s latest project, “The World According to Jeff Goldblum,” revealed that the National Geographic program will showcase both Counter-Strike: Global Offense and DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 convention during an episode.
CSGO will play a major role in the episode. While Goldblum talks about esports in general, the preview shows him watching a Counter-Strike match, seemingly surprised at the scale and production value of the tournament.
“We don’t know why they’re fighting each other. There’s not a good guy or a bad guy,” Goldblum says.
Later, Goldblum visits Team Vitality during a pre-match warmup session and it becomes clear that the Jurassic Park actor is completely overwhelmed by esports’ popularity and the scale of gaming as a whole.
After asking Team Vitality if the teams receive any prize money by winning the Dallas tournament, Vitality’s Dan “apEX” Madesclaire tells Goldblum that the top prize for DreamHack Masters Dallas is $100K.
“The room is spinning,” says Goldblum, clearly shocked by the figure. “Did you just say a hundred thousand dollars?”
“The World According to Jeff Goldblum” is just the next in a line of shows that have highlighted esports, seemingly with the intention of explaining its popularity to the general public.
While it looks like National Geographic will try to inform viewers about the general popularity of esports, other shows have tackled the topic as well. Netflix’s Last Week Tonight clone, Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, aired an episode in early August that focused on what the show described as “the darker side of the video game industry.”
During the episode, Minhaj highlights the sudden layoffs at publishers and developers like Telltale Games, noting that NDAs are common in the industry. Former Telltale employee Emily Grace Buck agreed to talk with Minhaj and related the story of the day that Telltale’s CEO told its employees that it was shutting down.
“[The CEO] just sat down and said, ‘Our journey has ended.’ We were getting no severance. Our health insurance was only lasting until the end of the week. They told us that we only had 30 minutes to leave the building,” said Emily Grace Buck.
The public’s fascination with esports has increased significantly in the past year, and it’s all due to two factors: average video game demographics and the massive amount of money involved in esports sponsorships.
A report from March 2019 revealed that sponsors have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into video games and esports in an effort to reach millennial males. Traditionally, that demographic responds poorly to direct advertising, but esports sponsorships have proven to be an effective avenue to reach them.
The article also notes that esports sponsorship revenues “are expected to grow over 67% between 2019 and 2022.” More money means more public attention, and both Goldblum’s upcoming episode and Minhaj’s exposé won’t be the last programs to bring public attention to esports.
Goldblum’s episode on DreamHack and esports debuts tonight on the Disney Plus subscription service on December 13.