I can remember one of the very first articles I wrote as a journalist was about Esports, specifically about televised Esports and how major corporations were seeking to broadcast competitive games of Starcraft, League of Legends, Smite, and Counter Strike. And now little over a year later it seems just about everyone is trying to get in on the growing following behind the phenomenon. And why wouldn't they? Prize money can go into the hundreds of thousands and company investment can go even higher. I'll tell you now what I told others a year ago, Esports is the next big thing and it will only get bigger as more and more companies seek to get in on it.
A tweet recently went out on the official Dawn of War twitter page which brought you to a Youtube Channel run by Indrid Casts. It's a good sized channel with some 20,000 subscribers which includes yours truly, I've been something of a longtime fan of Indrid. For those who don't know, he's one of the best Dawn of War commentators on Youtube. He posts frequently and there's rarely a dip in quality, which always leaves me wondering why more people don't know about him. While almost exclusively posting Dawn of War 2 games with a certain fan-made mod (the elite mod for reference, which adds in a bunch of extra stuff not seen in the main game) he has also done a small handful of videos focusing on Total War: Warhammer, the latest game from the Total War franchise set in the fantasy counterpart to the galaxy-spanning Dawn of War games.
Dawn of War 2 is a skirmish game which means that each player has a limited number of units they can build and control at any given time making each one more valuable and forcing players to think more tactically, allowing for a greater depth of strategy and coordination. But this could all be called into question, as Relic Entertainment (the minds behind Dawn of War 2 and 3) has stated that they will be returning to the large-scale battle formula of previous installations, abandoning the streamlined base building and skirmish style gameplay that makes the commentary provided by Youtubers like Indrid possible. But the fact that Dawn of War has come across Indrid and decided to give him some exposure means that Relic, like so many others these days, is wising up to the changing winds. The fact that Dawn of War hasn't (to my knowledge) spent a penny on advertising the existence of its games but rather going straight to dedicated fans like Ingrid Casts on platforms like youtube which allows for maximum exposure with minimum cost is a stroke of genius and I expect more to follow Relic's footsteps.
I don't expect Indrid and his fellows to go anywhere anytime soon but it is an interesting thing to watch develop. I've reached out to both Ingrid and the people running the Dawn of War twitter page for comments, and so far neither have replied but I'll be sure to inform you when they do.