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Wednesday, 24 April 2019
Why is everyone talking about Esports? What is it all about? Is this a passing fad?
SharEveryone is taking about eSports and many people, including politicians, business leaders, educators and parents, are asking themselves what is this all about.
it short and simple, Esports (electronic sports) is competitive video
gaming at a professional level with organized competitions.
competitions have been around for quite some time, to find the first
official video-game competition on record we need to go back to 1972
(take that Millennials!); it happened at Stanford University, where
players were invited to compete in a space combat game called
Spacewar, to win a prize of a one year’s subscription of Rolling
video game competitions became known to a wide audience when Atari
organized the Space Invaders Championship and Walter Day created Twin
gaming had worked its way into popular culture in the 1980’s, but
it’s growth really accelerated in the 1990’s when the internet
opened up a whole new world of possibilities.
Entertainment System (NES) took the controls, graphics, gameplay and
accessibility of video games to a new level and also boosted the
growth of competitive gaming. They ran the Nintendo World
Championships in 1990 and in 1994.
the first esports leagues were founded in the late 1990’s including
the Quakecon , the Cyberathlete Professional League and the
Professional Gamers League. Games like Counter-Strike, and Warcraft
were already featured in those days.
could say that the flourishing of this industry happened in the 2000s
when we saw the launch of the World Cyber Games and the Electronic
Sports World Cup. These major international tournaments helped to set
the tone for the kind of big competitions that would later come to
define the esports world.
things happened in those years, but I want to underline the
importance of the release of xBox live in 2002, bringing online play
to consoles. Halo 2 was the first game to be broadcasted on a
national TV and sponsors made competitive gaming a lucrative career
choice. This was a game changer. From then, esports really took off.
majority of the esports revenue comes from brand investments, which
can be categorized as sponsorships, advertising and media rights.
esports industry has grown at a tremendous pace, I feel it’s safe
to say that over the last decade it has become one of the fastest
growing industries worldwide, benefiting from traction from new video
game social media content, products and gaming events around the
look at the past few years, it is clear that esports has become a
multi-billion dollar industry spanning every corner of the globe.
Newzooestimated esports revenue will eclipse $1
billion in 2019. There is a growth rate of 22.3% year over year; the
prediction is that revenue will reach $1.79 billion by 2022.
consider this a passing trend? Absolutely not. The esports industry
has passed the status of a fad and has become a serious industry with
investors betting their money on this business, given the potential
it holds. Hedge fund managers point to the rising popularity of
esports events as an indicator of the market opportunity.
ask yourself “but why?”, “why is this activity moving so much
The answer is simple: because of the number of people
This multi-billion dollar industry attracts not only
passionate spectators (we are talking about millions of fans) but
also major media outlets and even celebrities. Esports are here to
audiences can watch events by either visiting the arena live or
online through gaming broadcasters. According to the World
Economic Forum, the global esports audience
reached 380 million last year, made up of 165 million dedicated
esports fans and 215 million occasional viewers.
and Generation Z are the force driving this industry unlike any
illustrate this, just take a look at the top of the following table:
46 million people watched the IEM Katowice in 2017. Yes, this is not
a typo: 46
many type of games and a variety of eSports franchises, but certain
titles dominate this market (below are just some examples, please do
not bombard my private inbox with complaints that your favourite game
is not on the list)
remains one of the most popular eSports games today in which teams
battle to destroy the enemy’s nexus. It is a multiplayer
online battle arena video game developed and published by Riot
Games for Microsoft Windows and macOS. The Prize Pool
of LoL in 2018 was $14.12M (Source:
more than 200m players worldwide, the chances are either you, your
friends or your children or your children’s friends are already
playing or watching it. This online video game was developed by Epic
Games and released in 2017. The Prize Pool of Fortnite in
2018 was $19.96M(Source:
World Cup in 2019 will have a prize pool of $100 million.
of the Ancients 2 (DOTA 2)
This is a
multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by
Valve Corporation in 2013.
hosts an annual tournament called The International where the world's
best DOTA players compete for prizes. The Prize Pool of Dota 2 in
2018 was $41.26M (Source:
International 2017 broke the record for the largest prize pool in
eSports history at $24,787,916.
tactical multiplayer first-person shooter video game (part of
the Counter-Strike series) developed by Hidden Path
Entertainment and Valve Corporation released in 2012 for Playstation
3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, and OS X and later Linux as a
esports games are Call of Duty, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Starcraft or
I do not
want to forget Mobile eSports games like: Clash Royale, Honor of
Kings, Arena of Valor, VainGlory, Summoners War, Mobile Legends or
the new comer: Brawl Stars.
are not already a fan, you are probably starting to be curious and
wondering: where can I watch esports?
be seen online via Twitch, Mixer, Youtube or even Facebook (all
for free) and as we just said, you can also attend live competitions
in dedicated esports venues.
has yet to achieve popularity in the conventional entertainment
industry but the phenomenon is fast approaching an inflection point
where it will certainly happen. Esports tournaments continue to grow
in audience and economic impact, and each year brings these
competitions closer to the level of popularity and acceptance enjoyed
by traditional sports.
the trends as described above, I am inclined to assume that esports
is definetly not a passing fad.