eSports: How The Term Was Coined
The definition of e-sports or pro-gaming as it is sometimes referred simply comes from the fact that it is a sporting activity done electronically between professional players or amateurs.
Unlike the video games you are used to; e-sports involve a live tournament where the winner is paid with prize money and a number of other benefits depending on the format of the tournament.
Everyone can play these tournaments from anywhere in the world as long as they have a steady internet connection through a dedicated server. However, in high profiled eSports events, all of the players usually gather in one place to compete in front of a crowd.
eSports: The Evolution and Rise of The eSports Industry
Back in the 1980’s, e-Sports started off as an activity by amateurs to pass their time while playing their favourite sport on a pc device. Among the commonly played games were Tetris, Pac-men and Space Invaders. While playing, all one wanted to do was to beat their previous score. Those games back in the day were literally games where you competed with yourself. However, that was to change later on as it became an actual sport where professionals play against each other for considerable amounts of prize money and have a huge global fan following.
The first ever e-sports competition was launched back in October 1972 in Stanford University and was called an Intergalactic space war Olympics. Technology wasn’t advanced as now but people still found other ways of competing with each other by comparing scores. It took another 25 years for e-sports to evolve and be recognized as an official sport. The first officially recognized e-sports tournament was held in South Korea during the year 2000. While the tournament was reasonably successful, it still took a number of years for eSports to gain global popularity.
The Growth of eSports
At first, a lot of people did not find the concept of eSports entertaining at all but that slowly began to change with time and today over 71 million people worldwide attend live e-sports tournaments. E-sports has really come a long way since the new millennium with the launch of cyber games and e-sport world cup tournaments. One of the main reasons for the growth of the eSports industry has been due to the rise in tournament sponsors and as long as the number of sponsors continues to grow, the popularity of eSports will increase.
Apart from sponsors who have been continuously investing in this sport, e-sports also has a lot of online viewers who use platforms like Twitch to watch live streaming events. Twitch is a popular live streaming platform that was recently bought by Amazon for $1 billion and is known for streaming live gaming events such as eSports and poker. In 2013 it was estimated that 55 million viewers were avid followers of e-sports tournaments.
eSports For First Time Players
E-sports games can now be easily accessed almost everywhere thanks to high speed internet and video streaming facilities. This means that individuals who have never played or watched an eSport game, will now be able to satisfy their curiosity from the comfort of their own homes. eSports is not complicated although the first couple of times, it might come across as daunting. First time players will need to find a list of favourite games that they like and will have to play them often in order to get a hang of how the game is played and to improve their gaming responses.
e-Sports: A New Way To Make A Living
When kids used to spend their time playing video games in the past, their parents would often discourage them from wasting their time as it did not really teach them anything and would be associated with making them lazy. That is no longer the case as the eSports industry is a multi-million dollar global industry that pays players who win extremely well and allows them to make a living just by playing eSports.
Apart from top pro players like Carlos “ocelote” Rodriguez who earns over a million pounds sterling a year, other players in the e-sport industry are also earning huge amounts of money.
It’s not just players who can make a living playing eSports.
Those employed by eSports companies and sponsors such as commentators, assistants and support staff are just some of the individuals who make a living from the eSports industry.
The eSports industry is extremely competitive and eSports companies are always on the lookout for innovative eSport developers who can create new games that will capture the attention of a global audience. eSports companies in the United States such as Riot Games are willing to pay 6 figure salaries for senior engineers who can come up with new games. However it is still the players who make the most amount of money as they have the opportunity to register and play eSport tournaments from around the world and earn a significant amount of prize money.
A number of youngsters from across the globe are now turning to eSports to make a living as they do not want a traditional 9 to 5 job nor do they want to be a part of the rat race. These gamers prefer to play from the comfort of their homes, work on their own schedule and travel the world playing eSport tournaments.
High Paying eSport Tournaments
Some of the popular eSports tournaments that pay well include Dota which has paid out over $30 million for the 450 tournaments it has organized so far; League of Legends which has paid out $21.5 million for the 1400 tournaments held; Star Craft which has paid out $16.5 million for the 2,854 tournaments organized so far. These are the top three eSports tournaments that tend to draw some of the most popular eSport players in the world. Some of the other eSports tournaments include Legendary Counter Strike which has paid out $10 million in 546 tournaments and StarCraft: Brood war which has paid out $6.4 million in 281 tournaments so far.
eSports Live Streaming
There always seems to be e-sports taking place at one part of the world or the other and most of these games tend to be streamed online. Watching eSports is a great way to gain an education and learn the strategies used by pro gamers. Most of these eSports games get streamed by popular video streaming platforms such as YouTube, Ustream and Twitch. Once you find an eSports channel that you like, you can subscribe to get notifications of upcoming live eSports streaming events.
The eSports Debate
Debates surrounding the eSports industry have been going on for a while as many believe that e-sports should not really be categorized as a sport. The biggest argument against calling eSports a sport is over the fact that it does not involve a lot of physical activity which most sports warrant. However this argument is strongly contested by eSports lovers who say that sports does not always have to involve physical activity as sometimes strategic skills are more essential in winning at sport.