We cover a lot of different sports, from boxing to skating and surfing to motocross. However, one sport that we are yet to delve into is eSports, which is odd considering it’s the only sporting genre that allows viewers to witness alien battles in space and fantastical creatures working together first hand.
Of course, these antics take place within video games operated by some of the most talented players from around the world. The term “eSports” simply means electronic sports, more specifically those that take place on consoles, PC and online.
At first, eSports began with just a few players battling it out across the internet. In 2000, computers became cheaper than they had ever been before, and with the introduction of the world wide web players could easily connect and play together casually from around the world.
However, as games continued to evolve and players became more invested than ever, titles like Starcraft II, DOTA and League of Legends were soon drawing in huge crowds with some of the most skilled players gathering millions of fans. Now, great gamers are considered professionals and they battle it out at some of the world’s largest arenas for huge prize money jackpots while being watched by millions of spectators.
These gatherings are known as tournaments, with the largest being The World Cyber Arena in China where attendees can find an incredible variety of games to play and watch. That said, there are some tournaments that are dedicated to specific games such as the League of Legends World Championship. In 2016, this particular tournament was watched by an astonishing 43 million individuals, while prize money was an estimated $6.7 million.
More recently, eSports has become so popular that online gambling operators allow fans to bet on their favourite players and teams. Master Mazuma, a site that focuses on eSports explained that it’s very similar to betting on more traditional sports now and that soon everybody will know what eSports are. The website has a series of tutorials to help newbies get involved too.
Of course, we couldn’t agree more as even more professional players and fans are found each and every day. Already, the World eSports Association has been established, and there’s even a television channel dedicated entirely to eSports competitions. Plus, investors who previously focused on more traditional sports such as Premier League football are beginning to buy eSports players and fund their trips to competitions. Back in July 2016, 18-year-old eSports player Kieran “Kez” Brown joined Manchester City football club to represent them in Fifa-based tournaments.
What we and other eSports fans are really excited for though is the future. According to the BBC, eSports is set to generate over £1 billion and gain an audience of 600 million viewers by 2020, double the statistics from 2017.
Furthermore, as technology continues to evolve so too will the world of gaming tournaments. Soon, we could see virtual reality tournaments that spectators can view from their very own VR headsets. No doubt the games are sure to get even more impressive as well, with improved graphics, audio and gameplay.