How esports gained popularity
The gaming experience
The earliest video game competition can be dated back to the 1970s. Although we can call the video game as the humble ancestor of this high-tech game; no one thought that it would grow leaps and bounds to become one of the most popular mainstream games.
Technology has become the integral part of our daily life. With the advent of the newest trends in this industry, esports started growing along with better graphics and better experience altogether. This had a major influence on its players and the number only grew.
Edge over traditional sports
These games are such that anyone can play and can get good at it over a period of time; which is usually not the case with other sports. In traditional sports, there is a specific physical criterion which needs to be met and it also needs a lot of practice. Secondly, since esports are technology based, it is very easy to mould the game according to our needs. For e.g. we can have a ‘special power’ in stored for us which can be saved until the crucial point of the game; this, though, cannot happen in a real game.
No age bar
Although such games are more popular with teenagers and young adults, there is no age bar for these games. Even older people can indulge into the game of their liking and can have blast sitting in the comforts of their cozy homes. If not play, watching it can be equally fun too.
There are as many as ten genres to choose from. Adventure Games, Platform Games, Puzzle Games,Real Time Strategy (RTS), Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA), Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG), Role Playing Games (RPS), First Person Shooters (FPS), Simulation Games, and Sports Games.
In the digital era, social media plays a crucial part in making or breaking the image of an individual. Given the various platforms, we have overnight stars with a massive, dedicated fan following. eSports players too have started to build their own identity and a fan base which could make any other sportsperson green with envy.
Competition comes naturally to a human being and esports competition has surely come a long way. From the simple games played between school or college boys to today’s esports tournaments, competition plays a major role in the increasing popularity. The ‘competition’ and ‘winning’ has been a major contributory factor in the popularity of these games.
With all the big companies coming in to sponsor the event, the prize money sometimes runs into millions. It is not just the children or the young adults anymore; esports tournaments have been able to grab the eyeballs of people of all the ages.
Ease of viewing
Almost all the leading esports tournaments are streamed live and can be viewed through sites like Mixer, YouTube Gaming, Twitch etc. All of these platforms have free mobile apps and are compatible on almost all the smart phones. If compared to the subscriptions that the sports channels ask for, this kind of online viewing is much cheaper with no compromise on the entertainment part.
Top 5 esports tournaments
Here is a list (in no specific order) of top 5 esports tournaments which are quite popular worldwide. It is interesting that while some tournaments include many games, there are few games which have gained so much popularity that they have their own tournament.
Intel Extreme Masters
This is a series of international esports tournament which is held in different countries around the world. It started in the year 2006 and is the longest running global gaming tour in the world. They have a viewership from all over the world (across almost 180 countries). https://en.intelextrememasters.com/
Call Of Duty World League
This esport tournament too started in the year 2016 and has been going strong till now. With prize pool of around 1,500,000 USD in 2018, this league has four official tournaments: Black Ops III, Infinite Warfare, WW II and Black Ops 4. It is streamed live on their official site. https://www.callofduty.com/esports/
Dota 2 International
Active from the year 2011, this is an annual esports tournament. In the year 2016, the prize pool reached $ 20,770,460 marking the largest prize pool in the history of esports. It is streamed live through Twitch. The International 2019 is to be held in Shanghai. http://www.dota2.com/international/overview/
Global Starcraft 2 (GSL)
Global Starcraft 2 : Legacy of the Void consists of two leagues Code S and Code A. Players in Code S consists of top-tier players who compete to win GSL while the players in Code A play against each other to reach the Code S level. This tournament is held in South Korea and has multiple events all year round. It is covered by Afreeca TV and Twitch. https://wcs.starcraft2.com/en-us/
League Of Legends World Championship
This esport tournament, owned by Riot Games, has garnered a tremendous popularity making it the most watched tournaments in the world. Every year the tournament is hosted by different city across the world majorly in East and Southeast Asia, North America and Europe. https://www.lolesports.com/en_US/
Featured in Asian Games 2018
eSports tournaments have become the ultimate gaming phenomenon that is taking the world over like an unstoppable storm. So much so that it was featured in the recently-held Asian Games (2018) in the demonstration category and would be featured as a medal event in the year 2022. Now that’s something huge! The games which were included in this prestigious event were Arena of Valor, Clash Royale, Hearthstone, League of Legends, Pro Evolution Soccer, Starcraft II.
Looking at the popularity of these esports tournaments, the global economy in the gaming zone will continue to increase in the coming years. Just like the mainstream sports, esports too have their team owners and partnerships with various organizations which provide the necessary funds to the teams or individual players.
In all, esports tournaments are super entertaining and people really look forward to either take part in it or watch it. Whatever the case may be, esports are here to stay. Do let us know about your favourite esport or esports tournament that you follow.