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What is esports?
Esports, or competitive video gaming, is a growing phenomenon that has led to large salaries and fan bases around the world. From amateur players who compete in regional and online tournaments to professional athletes playing video games for a living, esports is becoming more and more popular.
Esports first emerged as a form of entertainment in the 1990s but really took off in the 2010s when gaming platforms like PC, console, and mobile devices became more widespread. Today, there are numerous professional leagues and tournaments with millions of dollars in prize money on the line.
Esports is also attracting attention from traditional sports teams and leagues. Several teams have already begun investing in esports franchises, while others are looking into how they can integrate esports into their existing sports operations. This could include creating dedicated esports staff members or partnering with existing eSports organizations.
There’s no doubt that esports is here to stay – it has already revolutionized the way we think about video gaming and could do the same for other mainstream sports in the future.
How did esports start?
There’s no one answer to this question as esports has evolved over time and developed in different ways around the world. However, some attribute the origins of esports to video games and their competitive scene.
Video games first became popular in the 1970s and early 1980s, with titles like Pong and Pac-Man. Initially, these games were played among friends or family members at home, but as the genre grew more complex, developers began creating dedicated tournaments in order to find the best players and pit them against each other.
The earliest professional gaming leagues took shape in 1984 with The World Cup of Video Games for arcade machines. This tournament saw competitors from across the globe compete in a series of matches to see who was the best at various games. From there, esports really began to take off as an industry with tournaments now regularly attracting thousands of spectators.
As esports has continued to grow, so too has its audience. In 2017, global viewership for competitive video gaming reached 380 million people*, making it one of the most popular sports on the planet. Meanwhile, grassroots efforts by amateur players are also starting to have a large impact on how people view esports – particularly within South Korea where many gamers consider themselves “true” fans rather than “pro-gamers”.
Esports as a sport
Esports, or electronic sports, has been receiving a lot of attention from mainstream media outlets in the recent years. Many people see esports as a new and exciting way to watch competitive video games. Others see it as a way for young athletes to hone their skills and compete against others around the world.
There is no single answer to whether esports is a sport or not, but experts generally agree that it is a form of competition that can be played on a variety of platforms, including PC, console, mobile devices and even virtual reality. Professional gamers typically receive salaries and benefits comparable to traditional athletes.
The biggest question facing esports right now is whether it will be considered an Olympic sport. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has already formed a task force to study the matter and make a recommendation. If the IOC decides that esports should be included in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it would mark the first time professional gaming has been recognized by the global sporting body.
Whether or not esports becomes an Olympic sport is still up in the air, but its growing popularity indicates that there may be something here worth watching!
Esports as an industry
Esports is an ever-growing industry with a lot of potential. It has been growing rapidly in popularity over the past few years, and there are many reasons for this increase. First, esports is easily accessible. This means that anyone can watch it, regardless of their location or background knowledge in the gaming world. Second, esports is interactive and fun. Whether you’re watching players compete on a video gameconsole or streaming it live on the internet, it’s a great way to stay entertained. Finally, esports provides an excellent opportunity for young people to develop their skills and network with other professionals.
The demographics of esports
The demographics of esports are unsurprisingly young and male. According to Nielsen, 73% of esports fans are between the ages of 18 and 34. Furthermore, 73% of those who follow esports regularly are male. These demographics suggest that esport viewership is predominantly driven by young men who are interested in competitive gaming.
However, despite this overwhelmingly male viewership base, there is a growing number of female fans of esports. In 2017, Riot Games’ global head of eSports Anita Palashakti stated that female viewership for League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) games had surpassed 50%. This suggests that there is a large contingent of non-male viewers interested in competitive gaming.
These shifts suggest that the traditional gamer demographic is not solely made up of young men. Thus, it will be important for brands and publishers involved in esports to continue developing content that is appealing to both male and female fans alike.
The economics of esports
There is no question that esports are booming, with revenues expected to top $1 billion by 2020. But what does this mean for the future of professional gaming?
Some argue that esports have the potential to create a new wave of professional athletes, much like traditional sports have done in the past. Others suggest that esports may be a fad that runs its course, like social media and other early-stage technological innovations.
At its heart, the debate over whether or not esports will become a mainstream phenomenon revolves around two questions:1) What are the economics behind competitive gaming?2) What role will traditional broadcasters play in shaping these economics?
The first question is far easier to answer than the second. Economics 101 tells us that when there is demand for a product, supply will always meet or exceed demand. In short, pro gamers and their fans are willing to pay money to see high-level competition. As a result, tournament organizers and streaming platforms are raking in huge profits. For example, Twitch reported revenue of $3 billion in 2018 and Amazon Web Services (AWS) said it generated approximately $534 million from streaming games in 2018 alone. Even Facebook has gotten into the game with Facebook Live Events (FLE). Facing increasing competition from flashy new startups such as Fortnite Battle Royale developer Epic Games and streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins (who both reportedly pull in six-figure salaries), established eSports organizations are scrambling
Esports and children
There is a lot of debate surrounding the effects of esports on children. Some parents worry that playing video games may resulted in their children becoming addicted to the gaming industry, while others believe that esports can provide an outlet for children who may not have other opportunities to express themselves.
A study published by The New York Times in February 2019 found that many middle and high school students are participating in esports. While some say that this trend is a result of kids not having enough time for physical activities, others argue that gaming can offer a competitive environment where students can improve their skillsets.
The benefits of gaming for children have been debated for years, but there are certainly positives to taking part in esports. For one, it can help foster competitiveness and teamwork skills. It has also been shown to improve problem-solving abilities, critical thinking skills, and decision-making processes. Playing video games also keeps kids physically active and helps them learn how to multitask.
While there are certainly pros to esports participation for children, it is important to ensure that they are getting the most out of their experience. Too often, kids get wrapped up in gaming competition instead of enjoying the game itself. If your child is looking into playing competitively or watching professional tournaments, make sure they have time for other activities as well so they don’t lose focus on what’s important: having fun!
As the world of esports continues to grow, so too does the need for organizations and sponsors that can identify, understand, and capitalize on its potential. However, many companies still view esports as a novelty or childish pastime that is not worth investing in. To these companies, one of the most important questions to ask is: will this investment save our child? The answer could very well be yes.
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