One of the fastest growing industries online looks set to grow further with news that Esports will be a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games.
Participation in esports is expected to reach 191 million people worldwide by the end of the year.It is an industry that is worth more than $450 million a year and rising. By 2019, esports is expected to grow to $1 billion. So what is it? Here is a handy guide to everything esports.
What is eSports, really?
The term eSports is a different (fancy?) name for professional video gaming. eSports players are, in fact, people who spend most of their time playing video games and they make money doing it. This phenomenon has been around for a decade or so and gets bigger each year.
However, eSports went from strength to strength, especially with the introduction of various streaming services such as Twitch and, later, YouTube Gaming. These platforms gave people a chance to experience the first hand what it was like to be an eSports professional. It gives them an ability to view the highest rated players in various games battle it out in single matches or tournaments awarding hundreds of thousands and, sometimes, even millions of American dollars.
This kind of exposure did wonders for eSports. It moved it out of the relative obscurity into sizeable media attention. People started to realize there were actually players out there earning vast amounts of money playing video games. Whether they wanted to be like them or simply admired them for their abilities, eSports started gaining huge traction.
What games Do They Play?
The term eSports is relatively broad, as it encompasses a big number of games featured in different worldwide competitions. Although things keep changing, the most popular eSports games these days can be divided into a few main categories:
- First Person Shooters (FPS): Games like Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), Call of Duty (CoD), and Halo. Currently , CS:GO is certainly among the most popular eSports games from this genre. However, CoD holds its own as well.
- Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA): Arguably the most popular genre of eSports. MOBA encompasses games like League of Legends (LoL), Defense of the Ancients 2 (Dota 2), and Heroes of the Storm. Dota 2 tournament, known as the International, is an eSports event with the biggest prize pool by far.
- Fighting games: Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Tekken, Super Smash Bros, etc. Unlike the previous two groups, which are usually played in teams, these games are usually played one on one, and aren’t quite as popular. However, many big eSports organizations do have players competing in fighting game events.
- Sports games: Various sports titles featuring FIFA, NBA, etc. Ironically, sports games are the least popular in the eSports community, although you’d be inclined to think differently when first hearing the term.
eSports & Money
There is no doubt that what made eSports so popular was the fact players could earn serious money playing video games. After all, that’s what sets an occupation apart from a hobby. But, how much do professional players actually earn.
Thanks to the surge in popularity, eSports are able to attract more sponsors. This means tournaments can offer bigger and better prizes. As of right now, there are almost 30 players who officially made more than $1,000,000 competing in eSports. All of them are primarily Dota 2 players. This clearly shows just how much this game is ahead of the rest in purely financial terms.
While there aren’t that many millionaires, there are several hundred players who made six figures playing video games, which clearly shows this is a viable career, as long as you have the skills to compete with the best.
More to Come
eSports is a modern-day phenomenon that has taken world by storm. It features young people competing in various popular video games, earning serious money for their efforts. And, while this may have seemed like just a crazy dream ten or fifteen years ago, eSports today represent a viable choice of career provided you have the skills, determination, and the hunger required to win.
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