In the wake of the rapid growth and immense popularity of Esports, otherwise known as competitive video gaming, the House of Mouse has launched the Nintendo Family Showdown, a new US competitive gaming contest where select families will go against each other in head to head battles in a series of Nintendo game challenges that will be broadcast across Disney’s linear and digital platforms.
To apply for the exciting new gaming event, the parents and legal caretakers of eligible kids aged between six and 18 can submit one-minute (or less) video explaining why they are the biggest fans of Nintendo. This application period began on June 18 and when it finally comes to an end, four families will ultimately be selected to compete in the Nintendo Switch Family Showdown that will be aired on Disney XD and the Disney Channel – the competition will also be streamed on the DisneyNow app later this summer.
Some of the challenges that will be featured in the competition will include searching for collectibles in the popular Super Mario Odyssey game, dance battles in Just Dance 2018, as well as head to head matchups in Mario Tennis Aces. The four lucky families that will be selected will on August 3 head to Los Angeles to meet some of the Disney Channel stars and compete in the showdown for a shot at winning the prizes that will be on offer.
Betting on Esports
This particular contest will serve as a sort of propellant of Disney’s gradual but nicely executed venture into the Esports space – it comes right in the heels of the launch of D|XP, Disney XD’s new gaming-themed programming block last summer (June 17, 2017).
The Nintendo Switch Family Showdown aside, Disney XD had already been airing original Esports content provided by Electronic Sports League (ESL). D|XP airs a number of ESL’s shows including the ESL Brawlers and ESL Speedrunners as well as a number of series produced by VICE’s Waypoint, ESPN, Disney Digital Network, Warner Bros. Television, IGN, Attack Media, Group’s Blue Ribbon Content, Banger Films and Disney Digital Network.
Nickelodeon Not Far Behind
Nickelodeon, which is considered to be Disney’s most formidable rival, has also been busy ratcheting up its growing Esports programming lineup. The most recent for the company has been its participation in the $15 million seed round of the Minecraft-centered Super Gaming League – the company added the Super League Gaming Minecraft City Champs, an Esports series that features Minecraft teams in a multi-week national tournament.
“Nickelodeon is interested in Esports because gaming is an important passion point for kids today, and forging this partnership with Super League puts us at the forefront of where kids will be playing next,” Nickelodeon’s executive vice president Matthew Evans said in an interview with Variety last year.