Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 20 years, you’ve probably heard about e-sports already. In an era of digital revolution that has changed everything from shopping and dating to our own culture, it was only logical that sports would also be changed, right?
People had the idea that a sport meant to throw or kick some ball over a hole or boundary while a bunch of cheerleaders clapped and dance in front of you, but in the 90’s and early 2000’s something strange happened: the internet gave video games a big push.
Suddenly you were able to play with people from all parts of the globe in real time, making teams, forming alliances, strategizing, and defeating your enemies. Games like Starcraft 1 and Counter Strike gained worldwide popularity, which led to the creation of tournaments like The Nintendo World Championships, the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL), QuakeCon, and the Professional Gamers League. Gaming platforms were starting to grow as online gaming became more and more popular every year.
Now let’s flash-forward to 2017.
Tournaments and sponsorships have become a worldwide phenomenon. Big-scale events are thrown every year where companies scout and put all their money on big-league players to compete for million-dollar prizes and world recognition.
Games like Dota2, League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global offensive, Halo, FIFA, Call of Duty and Street Fighter (just to name a few) all have annual global tournaments that not only offer big cash prizes for its winners but have become international events viewed by millions of people. The scary part? Prizes and viewership increase year by year.
E-sports are at its peak moment right now and hundreds of investigators have concluded that gaming technology is so far advanced that is capable of producing a wide array of high-quality content for every single consumer. Literally, no one can refuse to be attracted to them because game developers are giving us such a diverse group of options that can suit everyone’s tastes, we just can’t get enough.
Part of e-sports tournaments success is due to the fact that every single person who watches them also plays the game, which is not entirely true for traditional sports. Researchers found that people use the viewing process as a way to learn more about the games in question and improve their own skills as players.
Big brands and even traditional sports companies from all around the globe have already started to take a piece of the cake. Ambitious clubs like Paris Saint-Germain have started signing up players from different e-sports such as League of Legends. Their train of thoughts is quite simple: if digital gaming is where the next generation of fans will come from, then we must invest in it.
The most shocking part is that e-sports have evolved and grown year by year into becoming a billion dollar business that has no plans of disappearing anytime soon. Although many retractors say they are not real sports, they sure have given traditional sports a run for their money.