When talking about the perception of E-Sports I am talking about the major contenders out there that absorb the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of viewers attached to the scene. These would include Starcraft 2, DoTA games, Call of Duty (Insert sequel here), and Halo (Insert Sequel here). When thinking of heavy competition involving money and many viewers these are the main titles that come to mind. Looking at these games closely, however, they are some of the simplest examples of games in their genres. Why is this?
The simple explanation is that these are the core of RTS and shooters (And well, DoTA). There's nothing extra and there's no such thing as chance when it comes to Unit versus Unit. I'll be using Starcraft as a primary example. In retrospect Starcraft 2 is damn near the same as Brood War aside from general user-friendly and graphical improvements. Many argue these games work because of this element. As opposed to leaving it to tactical chance we are left with one giant metagame, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metagaming) where announcers and viewers alike can view a game, see a certain build or strategy, and accurately predict what the opposing player will do. Where the most skilled player who can identify these and react the fastest wins.
I've nothing against these kind of games and I watch them occasionally, but the community involved at large despises any game dealing with a certain hint of chance and outside factors affecting the outcome of a game as a bad thing. Because I mean, we don't play games with any factor of chance for money, right? (I'm looking at you, poker) Hell, even a game of football (Both American and European versions) are games at risk of things happening outside of the players control. This includes not having a "balanced" team and playing with what you have as advantage and try pressing those.
What kind of game would entail this? Titles like the Total War series and Company of Heroes - or on the other spectrum - ArmA 2/Red Orchestra are perfect examples, though not necessarily the games they have to be. Where positioning of units will give you a percentage advantage which allows for a more tactical game as opposed to a metagame. The Total War Games and Company of Hero games are heavily based upon your positioning of units - where certain factors affect how likely you will succeed in such an engagement.
These types of games award players who are able to exploit tactical advantages, where you don't necessarily start on even footing, and not those who can build a six-pool the fastest. Watching these games to me is a lot more entertaining because the room for prediction is at a minimum. I wish the developers of these games as well as the players would recognize the capabilities of E-Sports moving to the tactical front and support it.
Gamespot had a Medieval 2 tournament two or three years ago that I took a part in and it was absolutely fantastic. There are certain armies and units that can generally win the most, but it's not a sure thing especially when playing on certain terrain and using it to your advantage. A lot of people don't believe me that these games could work as a spectator sport, but have yet to see it to it's fullest potential.
A dream tournament I think of involves a more net-code happy ArmA 2 tournament. Spanning over a certain city or region of the map (To avoid the 30 minute crawl of no action) with two teams of maybe 15-20 needing to complete certain objectives. The type of casting and camera work involved with this could be incredibly fantastic. Team choppers fly in reinforcements, longer engagements based upon movement as opposed to twitch-shooting, and dynamic and shifting games that completely throws predictability out of the window. These would be longer matches, but many of us already watch hour or longer football games on television so it really is no different.
This doesn't just require support from us the community, we need developers to hop on board and be willing to provide the close community support needed to keep such things alive. It's a major factor as to why Blizzard and Starcraft 2 had stayed alive. They listen closely to the players and catered to the competitive crowd. This is just an idealistic rambling of thoughts and I don't realistically expect anything to come of it, but it's just a fun fruit for thought.)
Edit: Used html like a boss, not realizing it wasn't supported. Fixed.