The exhilarating experience video game provides, the player, a rush of sound, light, and adrenaline, has truly contributed to the rise of the eSports. Games that require quick reflexes and an unshakable will to overcome a worthy opponent have taken industry beyond that of pure leisure and into the world a true sport.
Along with the awesome playing experience, the engaging nature of video games also makes for an excellent spectator sport. Various competitive gaming leagues organised across the globe are now attracting thousands of fans; drawn by the ardent online gamers, immense excitement and lucrative prizes.
But what caused a surge in the popularity of eSports and why do millions of folks tune in to watch these tournaments every year? Let’s take a look at the history and future of eSports. From an industry featuring amateurs to one attracting professional players, eSports has completely exploded in the new millennium.
The Early History of Esports
Competitive video gaming has existed almost as long as video games themselves. The earliest video game competition, where gamers went head-to-head, can be dated back to 19th October 1972. Organised at Stanford University, it featured a one-of-a-kind game: Spacewar.
The first large-scale video game competition, however, wasn’t held until Atari got serious in 1980. The tournament was named Space Invaders Championship where more than 10,000 gamers participated from across the USA.
Today, new-tournaments are being announced routinely, and they seem to be benefitting everyone from developers to the players. They are constantly growing both in-terms of prize money payouts and a number of players, raising awareness for developers and professional gamers alike.
Online Esports Games
Looking back at the last few decades of eSports, the industry has grown at a phenomenal rate. More games worthy of an eSport following are entering the marketplace, and a lot of this can be attributed accessibility. With computers becoming economical and internet being available in more places and at a greater speed, the amount of people who can get involved in this exciting avenue of gaming is constantly expanding.
Eventually, large eSports tournaments like that of 1990 Nintendo World Championships came into the picture. These championships allowed citizens from all across the USA, the UK, Canada, Chile and Australia to participate in international head-to-heads.
While things have been evolving since the 70s, it is really in the last sixteen years that eSports industry truly became the witness of the rise in professional gaming. Some of the biggest eSports games of the industry like League of Legends came into existence during this period. League of Legends or, LoL, released in 2009 and is considered to be the most played game worldwide.
With games like LoL attracting millions alone, and more and more eSports worthy titles cropping up every year, it is immensely likely that the number of professional-eSports stars, tournaments & prizes will continue rising.
Remarkable Growth of eSports Industry
With a global community of over 148 million enthusiasts, the eSports industry is projected to hit 215 million by 2019. The games are also becoming more advanced which is appealing to huge numbers of gamers and spectators alike. The next decade is set to follow the trend we have been witnessing in terms of growth of eSports industry. More and more professional gamers will make their careers in eSports.
The Future of eSports
Esports is really in its infancy and has immense potential to continue its dramatic growth. No matter how many technologically advanced games are developed at present, the games, the rules, the media, the infrastructure, everything is in rapid flux.
Consider the money involved in the present eSports industry, for instance; it is increasing massively and benefitting ardent players worldwide. With billionaire owners, billion-dollar sponsorship arrangements and multi-million dollar player salaries, eSports are assuredly going to be one of the major industries of the next century. Breakthrough technologies, VR gaming, for example, are being backed by some of the biggest game developers out there.
Although pioneering technologies are going to be pricey, they are going to be extremely revolutionary, and that’s for sure. Several games are already VR supported, and we’re about to witness the first virtual reality eSports stadiums in the near future.
Want to know more about the history eSports? Check out this awesome infographic created by Computer Planet.
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