From its humble beginnings, competitive gaming or eSports for short has become a mainstream stay. Regardless of are you or watching TV in Germany, entering a Business Class lounge in Istanbul, Turkey – you’ll see League of Legends or a similar eSports title playing on one of the screens, and even two gaming systems plus the consoles. Move to the United States, and you’ll see eSports players even being betted on, with services such as UNIKRN. Draftkings and Fan Duel need no introduction. ESPN today has an eSports channel… and yet, all of this pales in comparison to the destination I am currently heading to. China has over 528 million registered gamers (the data is from 2015), and today that number is probably between 560 and 600 million, which is more than the whole North American continent, or more than European Union.
Today, VR is being used as a viewing platform, but even if ewe go beyond established media channels such as TV to the realm of streamers on Twitch and similar services, we can only conclude if there is one form of entertainment that is looking like it’s forever evolving, it has to be gaming. With the increasing internet speeds, and innovative ways to play and watch others play, gamers make full use of what they are offered. One of these ways has seen the rise of eSports.
While some conventional readers might argue that gaming is not a sport, especially the games where you are set at a machine playing, the millions of fans around the world would beg to differ. With the likes of League of Legends and DOTA 2 offering huge winning pots for the competitors, the high energy gaming sports are having a huge impact on the gaming industry. The idea behind eSports is to take the best of the best and to make them compete against each other. For the fans this makes for compelling viewing, though it has yet to find a huge following away from streaming services. This will change though, and the television deals that are being made to bring it into a mainstream environment is playing a big part of that. So why do people enjoy watching these games so much?
The simple answer is that it is entertaining. Whether it be the big money poker games, the latest League of Legends tournament, Street Fighter V battles, or competitive Overwatch, there is something for everybody. Then of course, when the tournaments are over, the gamers make their way to the online casinos to play more poker, roulette, or any of the other games that have caught their fancy. It the way the enjoyment of the games bleeds into the audience of eSports which makes the tournaments work for the gaming industry. Money is made through advertising, the games themselves, and the services that have grown from this form of “sport”. Just look at services such as Twitch or YouTube and you’ll see millions of people streaming their games, and homing their skills to be the next eSports star.
It may be just a pipedream to some, but to others they are realizing their future in competitive gaming. The beauty of eSports and why it is taking hold in the gaming community is that there is a feeling that anybody could be the next star. There are even tournaments created to allow people to live their dream, or of course go down in a blaze of glory. With the gaming industry seeing just how much money can be made from eSports, expect the future to be very much golden for this form of entertainment. It’s certainly clear that with all of the coming success, virtual reality may very well become the reality.