EA Sports has its own Madden Bowl competition, which pits the best NFL gamers against one another before the Super Bowl in the Bud Light Hotel. But the game publisher also ensures average sports fans and gamers can get the experience of being crowned a champion. Electronic Arts has worked with Virgin Gaming and GameStop the past two years to host the EA Sports $1 Million Challenge.
Sports games open up a huge mass market audience of potential eSports fans. Armchair quarterbacks, soccer (or football) fans and puck heads who don’t follow Blizzard Entertainment’s StarCraft II or Riot Games’ League of Legends can easily see who’s winning and what real-life sports strategies apply. Wim Stocks, the executive vice president of Virgin Gaming, discusses the role this big-money competition in Las Vegas plays in the burgeoning pro gaming space and how further integration into the Madden, NHL and FIFA games this year will evolve eSports in this exclusive interview.