ESPN has collaborated with Electronic Arts to announce EXP, an Apex Legends competition. EXP will be featured at massive events such as The 2019 ESPYS and X Games Minneapolis 2019 this summer.
The series first kicked off in May with its flagship Collegiate Esports Championship as part of Comicpalooza in Houston, Texas; the inaugural event saw several students compete in Overwatch, Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, Hearthstone, StarCraft II and Heroes of the Storm.
Future EXP competitions will host a blend of professional, collegiate and pro-am formats across a number of games and genres. Broadcast distribution of the event will be made viewable through multiple digital platforms including the ESPN app as well as a tape-delayed show set to premiere across ESPN & ABC linear networks following the event.
Justin Connolly, Executive Vice President of Disney & ESPN Affiliate Sales and Marketing, said: “Leaning into esports, represents ESPN’s focus on serving sports fans and expanding audiences.
“We remain committed to serving gaming fans across all platforms and content types, and Apex Legends is a great title to showcase EXP’s vision of offering world-class live esports events anchored by storytelling and multi-platform distribution.”
The next confirmed event in the series will take to Los Angeles during The 2019 ESPYS week for the EXP Pro-Am Apex Legends Exhibition; the event promises to bring together celebrities, influencers and athletes to compete in Respawn Entertainment’s battle royale hit around mid-July. The next event will be geared towards Apex Legends’ most competitive players at the EXP Invitational; the tournament is set to be held during X Games Minneapolis at the U.S. Bank Stadium from August 1-4.
“We are proud ESPN continues to be at the forefront of the growth and popularity of esports, collaborating with some of the top publishers in the industry including EA for our first-ever esports event series,” said John Lasker, Vice President of Digital Programming at ESPN. “EXP, short for experience, has been central to gaming history, and giving fans a great experience is central to our strategy at ESPN.”
The EXP series marks the second occurrence within a week where Respawn Entertainment has partnered to bring competitive Apex Legends to life. Just last week, tournament organiser, FACEIT, had announced the first officially licensed Apex Legends tournament, featuring several high-profile organisations and players.
Esports Insider says: Apex Legends has been an interesting anomaly in the gaming market, exhibiting great patience in the rollout of its esports initiative rather rushing the process. The latest collaboration with ESPN for the EXP series shows Respawn Entertainment is now actively (and swiftly) taking strides towards building this division.