eSports is a form of competitive gaming that has begun to take over the world. While there are a huge number of players, it was interesting to see just how popular eSports has become over the years, and now, it is beginning to grow even more. eSports are beginning to take over the gaming industry both online and offline, with some even considering the idea of an integration between eSports & online casino gambling. With ‘athletes’ wearing gaming headsets, and stereotypically guzzling energy drinks to keep their focus, eSports is beginning to draw in a hug audience that is beginning to rival the biggest traditional sporting events. Now, midweek live streams are routinely attracting 100,000 online views, and some of the biggest name brands around the world including Nissan, Coke, Logitech and Red Bull are tournament sponsors. eSports are the epitome of what all sports aim to be – young, global and excessively diverse: and they’re still growing.
History Of eSports
Interestingly, the first video game competition was between a group of Stanford University students in 1972, where they competed in an ‘intergalactic spacewar olympics’ competition. The prize then was a one-year subscription to Rolling Stone Magazine, but this has increased so much, that the prize pool of the 2015 Dota 2 Championship was $18 million making it the largest ever for a single tournament. In 2016, the prize pool was a whopping $20,770,460. In fact, the prize pools have grown so much that they are more than some of the biggest online slots wins in history (£13,200,000)! In addition to this, the first-ever professional video gamer, known as Johnathan ‘Fatality’ Wendel appeared on the cover of BusinessWeek, showing just how quickly the industry the industry had risen.
Twitch is one of the most important factors in the growth of eSports, and this video-streaming site boasts now over 55 million users. The site provides streams of games and tourneys, while also providing access to gaming stars in a more personable environment. The next generation of would-be gamers also post their own streams, and with 1m peak concurrent viewers per month, 100m unique viewers per month and 16B gaming minutes watched per month according to ESPN 2015 statistics, it’s easy to see how this influential channel has developed.
The rise in popularity of eSports has also led to major names in traditional sports making major investments into the market. In2016, The Philadelphia 76ers bought a majority share in Team Dignitas and Apex, and a group which includes NBA team owners and basketball legend Magic Johnson bought a majority share in Team Liquid. The global eSports market is suggested to be worth over $1.2 billion in 2019, and it is expected that viewership will increase to around 303 million. In addition to this, the prosperity of platforms such as Twitch have led to huge revenues for the industry, and it is these revenues that have attracted other big name brands such as Nvidia, Intel and Samsung. There are a huge number of possibilities about where eSports is likely to go in the future, and with the terms geek and nerd no longer being derogatory as they once were, the popularity is only going to increase.