Prepare for the censorship banhammer. Capcom, Valve and Psyonix have signed deals with the BBC to have their games Street Fighter V, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Rocket League to be featured on the Gfinity Elite Series e-sports event on the BBC Three over the weekends.
This is part of a new initiative to help put e-sports in the mainstream spotlight once more, following close on the heels of EVO signing a deal with ESPN to have EVO’s Top 8 finals to air live on ESPN 2, which has been a thing now for two years running.
The news was recently published over on the official BBC website, where some hip-jive talk was used throughout a news piece to appear “in” with the e-sports crowd.
The seasonal tournaments will air on Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday evenings. Throughout the season, each Friday things will kick off with Street Fighter V, while Counter-Strike will air on Saturdays, and Rocket League will air on Sundays.
— Gfinity (@Gfinity) July 13, 2017
According to the BBC, this isn’t just a short-term thing. They’re attempting to turn this into a franchise of sorts, and elevate the competitors into superstars, stating…
“Conceptually, the series is shooting for something that’s never been done before – a pathway from pubstar to superstar. All players are contracted, some have quit their jobs, others have moved into org-owned team houses, some were Challenger contenders a matter of months ago. This is the real deal.”
The series doesn’t really play host to familiar names from the Japanese, South Korean or North American FGC circuits , but BBC and Gfinity are hoping to turn some of these new faces into familiar faces.
One thing that the FGC has voiced concern about is censorship.
Two years running EVO has aired on ESPN and two years running Street Fighter V characters have been censored in some capacity for the broadcast. First it was the curvaceous R. Mika having her default costume censored for the on-air broadcast during EVO 2016, and then it was Cammy having her thong leotard censored during the EVO 2017 finals.
The FGC may have to keep an eye out to see if there are “broadcast standards” put into place regarding the female attire that can be aired live on the BBC Three for Street Fighter V. If Chun-Li ends up being censored at some point, then it will complete the trifecta of having the three main females from Street Fighter V forced to cover-up on live television.