The CGS 2008 (DirecTV): FIFA '08, CS:S, Forza 2, and DoA4. Two of the four games are merely simulations of real-life counterparts, and are never going to gain mainstream spectator interest for that reason. We don't need to watch simpler, polygon versions of sports that have been around for years. We're talking about video games, where we have the freedom to laugh at death, control entire armies, shoot fireballs from our hands, or any of the other millions of fun things we can't watch people do for sport in real life. If I want to watch realistic looking soccer or racing on TV, I'll look to reality. Dead or Alive 4? I know it's largely a matter of personal taste, but to my person DoA4 tastes like bland, slow-paced, button-mashing that bores me when I play it and as a spectator sport makes me want to leap to my death from my balcony. No, not even 2 guys bumping chests in a WWE-level display of testosterone is going to change my mind. CS:S was an obvious and necessary choice without which I would have put their selections in the realm of "bad joke".
The MLG 2008 (ESPN): Halo 3, Gears of War, and an unreleased Tom Clancy shooter from a franchise I'm half-convinced no one actually plays seriously except the Frag Dolls. The entire league this year is so far comprised of three Xbox 360 shooters. That's one genre on one console. Let me be blunt here - I think console shooters suck balls. Again, a personal preference, sure, but one that I happen to share with every human being I've ever met that first experienced FPS on a PC.
Of course there's some other big'ish leagues over here, like CEVO, which has CS1.6, CS:S, CoD4, TF2, and AA.... But I guess it just doesn't have enough team-based FPS to gain my interest. There's also the CPL
As an oldskool hardcore gamer who's been dreaming of mainstream competitive e-sports in North America for the last 20 years, I expected something more... relevant. I assumed they would generally contain a variety of genres and platforms that test more than just the narrow skill-set FPS does, or have games selected based on their natural competitive community growth instead of 720p compatible broadcast resolution and/or publisher funding. "Real" sports, like football, hockey, or baseball, aren't where they are because they broadcast well in HD, or fit a convenient TV time-slot. Their popularity grew organically over time because more people loved playing them and watching them be played than the alternatives. You can't force a sport's adoption on the mainstream, all you can do is usher along its natural growth. Unless we want pro gaming to ultimately be the next beach volleyball, where the tiny audience is there less for the sport and more for the eye-candy, someone needs to step up and either choose the games that naturally work well as e-sports, or develop games from the ground up with that intention. Fun to play, fun to spectate, and with a skill-depth that takes a lifetime to master. I mention StarCraft frequently because I think it's the perfect example of an e-sport evolving naturally in a culture, with televised play being the result of the sport's popularity and not the other way around. CS1.6 is also a great example of a massively popular competitive game that is huge on its gameplay merit alone. Neither of them will ever meet modern western broadcasting standards.
Fortunately televised e-sports development this year isn't entirely sour for me. The news of Tasteless' move to South Korea where he'll be shoutcasting pro StarCraft matches in English had me micro-dancing with joy in my living room.