What is eSports?
The Growing World of eSports
You may have heard of their influence on TV or other news outlets, or may have even seen them live on the air on sports networks, but if you've never really understood esports, now's your chance to do so! Skyrocketing in popularity across the world, esports is professional video game playing that crosses boundaries into a mainstream audience.
How Does It Work?
Popular video games across the world are taking advantage of livestreaming, which lets players watch an event live on their computer much like watching a more traditional sport live on TV. Fans can watch their favorite teams and players play in tournament and match settings, all the while experiencing the thrill of competition that comes with other mainstream sports. When the match is done, they can turn off the livestream and go play the game themselves, further investing them in the world of the product.
Where Is It Popular?
Esports are growing rapidly in popularity across the world, though one of the main hotspots is in South Korea, where League of Legends and Starcraft tournaments (two popular esports genres) can fill stadiums and convention centers with spectators. With increased popularity comes commercial opportunities, and esports gaming teams and tournaments are being sponsored and supported by major brands in much the same way that professional NASCAR drivers are sponsored.
What's Next in the Esports World?
ESPN audiences occasionally find esports gaming broadcasts, and competitions are frequently shown on international sports networks and are also available on livestreaming sites like twitch.tv. Esports only continues to grow as both a recreational pastime and a business venture, and many large companies are taking notice of that growth, eyeing potential new markets in the process.
Esports and Other Professional Sports
Esports are not too different in concept from other mainstream sports like basketball, baseball, or football. While the events in esports are video games rather than real-life physical exercises, the strategy, team loyalty, cult of player personality, and commercial viability of esports is essentially indistinguishable from those same features of other professional sports. In an increasingly online world (and a world where video gaming is taking more and more of a central place in the entertainment options pantheon), esports are a natural progression of the sporting world and an exciting new form of entertainment in many parts of the world.