What is esports?
Ever since the creation of the illustrious video game “shooter” genre, the innovation and technology of video games and their respective consoles have increased tremendously. From average local tournaments to national championships, shooter games have, without a doubt, evolved not only as a way of passing time but an expression of skill and prowess. The shooter genre has only grown since its debut, and it looks like the trend will only continue. With more complex machines every day, companies have been able to output more and more shooters with greater quality. From Call of Duty to Counter-Strike or even today’s Fortnite Battle Royale, Esports has changed from a shunned practice to a world wide phenomenon. Counter-Strike, for example, has become one of the largest video games on the market. With large organizations backing up pro play, Counter-Strike has changed from 100 player LAN’s to extravagant sports arenas, filled with entertainment.
Esports is simply, professional video gaming. Not developing, but playing. In the past, the mere thought of becoming a pro player was just an unachievable dream of a young naive child wanting to do something they loved as an occupation. Now in the 21st century, players are able to really reach this dream, mainly because of the increased knowledge of Esports and their benefits. Fortnite, arguably the largest and greatest game of the year, has offered a 100 million prize pool. Now that’s money worth talking about. Other organizations have taken part in the Fortnite craze. Cloud9 has introduced their new Korean Fortnite squad, and streamers such as FaZe Tfue and TSM Myth have also joined under large organizations.
This craze for greatness is now more accessible than ever, as a number of games even support lower-end PCs. Fortnite, for example, can run on mediocre gaming PCs which, in turn, increases the player base. With the increase of player base, more and more great players will arise and will certainly increase the popularity of Fortnite. Before these players were not seen as athletes, but people who had no real life experience who sat at their desks all day. Now, these players are more accepted in society, the rise of big names such as Shroud and Ninja on the streaming platform “Twitch” has only increased the Esport scene of PUBG and Fortnite.
With the influx of monetary gains and popularity, professional play is now seen as legitimate instead of an unrealistic job choice. This will only drive more and more players to turn professional. Even organizations such as Disney have started to stream tournaments for shooter games, one, in particular, being Overwatch. By orchestrating a tournament for such a large game, Disney simultaneously boosts its appeal to children and turns more of its viewers to the luster of gaming. Furthermore, this new generation of individuals thinks differently from their older counterparts, with more and more young people laundering towards their technology rather than going for the average desk job.
What are the implications of Esports?
Esports also have the benefit of large streaming services such as Twitch, and Youtube. These platforms let players upload footage of gameplay, as well as allowing tournament organizers to stream their matches for others to see. Once again, this boost in convenience means more people are introduced to the premise of professional gaming and are subsequently brought into the culture. The growth of Esports could be compared to the spread of the flu. Starting with a single person, spreading and multiplying over and over due to the expansion of people exposed to it as a whole. Small organizations such as Echo Fox have only increased in size due to recent widespread exposure. Starting with their League of Legends division, the organization has only expanded from their adding games such as Counter-Strike and others into the mix.
When compared to traditional sports, Esports is not far from the same threshold. The aspects are the same, and the increase of popularity of Esports may put it a notch above traditional sports. The esport market has seen a boom with every release of a big game, as made evident by the recent release of the Science-Fiction take on the Battle Royale genre, Islands of Nyne. Merchandise, sponsorships, even media outlets; all have seen an increase with the spike of Esports. This spread can also be attributed to the increased use of technology. As humans become more complex, the use of technology also becomes more widespread. With this technology, knowledge can be passed around extremely quickly, spreading as fast as wildfire. With even a single text or video message, the knowledge of Esports can increase at a dramatic rate.
Even colleges are now approaching Esports as a legitimate ideal. With hundreds of schools now giving Esport scholarships, more players are intrigued to join the promising field of gaming. Another instance would be the gaming high school located in China, adding the gaming curriculum as well as standard scholarly subjects. This school enables young players to develop their gaming skills as well as Esport occupations. Some practice for casting, or coaching, while others take the technology route. With ever-increasing benefits, Esports will only continue to grow and evolve. In 10 years from now, Esports may perhaps become the largest platform for communities, organizations, and players. With every video game release, the market of Esports will only thrive. All in all, Esports is a platform for ideas to be spread, competition, showcases of skill, and organization marketing to continue to grow and grow, and this craze that started as a small dream will prove to grow to become the biggest platform in current history.