Many of you would have heard of online video gaming, if so, you definitely would have heard of e-Sport gaming. I think many of you would’ve taken part in online tournaments and other video game competitions.
It has been significantly becoming popular these days, with a large amount of money spent on games, gaming equipment, and there are many games releasing in the market. Gaming companies are working their best to provide the best possible graphics, gameplay, art, sound, strategic physics and skills so that their game stands out in this competitive world of games. This in turn has made a sport out of it, hence the name e-Sport.
Electronic sports simply put are games being played on computers with the best players competing against each other to show their skills and strategy. The gamers themselves play the games and are live-streamed and watched by millions of people and enjoyed. It has been played for generations just like the physical sport.
Many PC games have benefited from increasing internet connectivity from the year of 1990.
In the 2000s the growth of e-Sport is thought to be influenced by the building internet network following the 1997 Asian financial crisis. It is also thought that the high unemployment rate at the time caused many people to look for things to do while out of work. The development of e-Sport in South Korea was the prevalence of the Company-style internet cafe/LAN gaming centre, known as a PC bang.
To grow e-Sport gaming, many big companies joined hands with local Japanese gaming companies in 2014.
e-Sport gaming involves the use of promotion and relegation to move sponsored teams leagues within the competition’s organization based on how the team fared in matches.
Blizzard Entertainments announced the Overwatch League in which the Overwatch game was played. The league was announced in 2016 with its inaugural regular season featuring twelve teams. Starting in January 2018, players were getting an annual salary and benefits and had to share the prize-winning across the team. The first season (2018) had a prize pool of $3.5 million with US$1 million to the team winning in the postseason
e-Sports tournaments are tournaments where players can earn a huge prize pool by competing against others. The International 2014’s top team won a cheque of over $ 5,000,000, which sounds massive for being an awesome gamer. Some of the large companies like Valve and Steam conduct these tourneys in an arena with a capacity of 17000 people.
Riot’s League of Legends world championship and MLG Pro Circuit makes huge pay-outs for the best teams. Prizes include gaming gears, PC’s etc for the gamers. They even include a lucky draw for the audience. E-Sport is making a big mark in the world by offering various attractive prizes to anyone who can stand out in this arena. It’s rumoured that E-Sport may be a part of the Olympics in the future.
Given the vastly appealing prize money, there came many E-Sport teams playing many competitive games which have gained huge fan bases watching the teams and cheering along.
The most well-known E-Sport team would be the Team Liquid which won the ” International 2014’s Major” and there are many teams in specific e-Sport games, such as Cloud9, Fnatic, Natus Vincere, Vitrus Pro, SK gaming, Ninjas in Pyjamas and the list goes on.
Video games which are played in professional competitions come under few major genres. The main titles are fighting games, first-person shooters, real-time strategy, or multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) with MOBA being heavily popular in terms of viewership.
Fighting games genre includes Streetfighter, Super smash bros, Marvel vs Capcom, Tekken etc.
First person shooters are one of the most popular genres in which Counter-Strike: Global Offensive being the top most played game in E-Sport over some MOBA games like League of Legends and Dota 2. Overwatch, Crossfire, Battle fiend series, Rainbow Six: Siege are the games played in these tournaments.
Then comes the moderately popular real-time strategy games such as StarCraft: Brood War, Warcraft 3, StarCraft 2.
Sport games are also played here like FIFA series, NBA 2K, Rocket League but are not popular genres compared to the above ones.
Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA): When it comes to E-Sport, the top genres of games are played from MOBA. The games such as League of Legends, Smite, Heroes of Storms, Heroes of Newerth, Clash Royale (mobile platform).
Many other genres are also played but they are not as famous as the genres mentioned above.
Here are a few major titles that are being played by some organizations.
For Counter-Strike – CEVO – Empowering Gamers, Growing Communities
ESL – Electronic Sport League
PGL- Pro-Gaming League
ESEA- E-Sports Entertainment Association League is an e-Sports game organizer. It’s widely used for organizing online tournaments because it is considered as an anti-cheat software.
DotA-2 joindotA, E-Sportal, Valve – It hosts all the Major for DotA2
League of Legends Riot (creator of League of Legends -LOL) hosts the most notable competitions such as the LCS(League of Legends Championship Series).
Most big tournaments pay for travel and hotel now so the organizers are just playing the role player mainly. But merchandise and sponsorship would be the biggest source of income I guess.
For example, the CSGO Cloud9 team made $225,000 in prize money in 2015 but they definitely made a lot more through sponsorships.
However, the most popular e-Sports games have been shown to fulfil all of the requirements necessary for defining them as sports with little exception. These games are comparable to any traditional sport in terms of the magnitude of viewership/spectatorship, professionalism, competition and rivalry between teams/organizations/fan bases, as well as the methods of consumption. As e-Sports consumption has grown tremendously from the rapid growth of the internet and information technologies, this has piqued the interest of potential investors who may serve as sponsors for the e-Sports market. In addition to giving e-Sports the respect that it deserves classifying it as a sport could lead to e-Sports competitions being aired on sports channels such as ESPN further increasing awareness. If deemed an official sport the increased recognition can lead to more marketing and sponsorship opportunities allowing the industry to grow to even greater heights.