Sport remains one of the most popular extra-curricular activities in the world today, and serves as a brilliant outlet for people looking to support a team or individual. However, traditional sports finds itself with a challenger to future numbers with the rise of the digital age.
As is the norm, technology advances every year. Football has better slow motion replays, while tennis has amazing computer technology tracking balls. But if anything has advanced the furthest it appears to be the Esports revolution. Gamers now have their very own tournaments and championships to cheer, and it is growing by the day.
What is Esports? It works exactly the same as traditional sports in that spectators gather to watch a competition, although this competition is between people playing video games in front of a large audience. To people who fail to understand the appeal you just need to look at how massive the gaming industry is, and how it continues to grow.
The interest in gaming goes back decades, as well as competition in gaming. Nintendo first started Esports competitions back in 1990, although without the Internet to boost word of mouth and interest the scale of the contests looked nothing like they do today.
The gaming culture in Asia has been paramount in bringing Esports to the fore in terms of mainstream audiences. South Korea and Japan have been pioneers in initiating Esports tournaments and using the digital age to really send the Esports trend world-wide by using highly promoted streaming channels, which in turn sends footage around the globe. China also soon cottoned on leading to mass enthusiasm in Europe and the US. Fast Internet speeds have ensured that all this is possible. Events make for great ways to launch new products, and video games are launching by the week, making it inevitable that Esports tournaments have become stellar sponsorship opportunities for gaming companies.
Obviously the draw of mass audiences and big companies have attracted outsiders looking to take advantage of potential pay days. Twitch.tv was founded as a specialized streaming channel for Esports that has created a celebrity universe for gaming fans. Sponsorship is now flooding in from all industries, with companies from the energy drink sector also getting involved. Even sports betting companies have seen a gap, with Betway.com now opening an exclusive Esports Betting website for betting on Esports only. MobileSlots.net have been providing video game themed attractions modeled after classics such as Hitman and Tomb Raider for some time now.
As the interest and business continues to grow around this world traditionalists remain skeptical. ESPN recently dismissed the prospect of picking up broadcast rights for Esports tournaments by branding the events as ‘not a real sport’. But this hasn’t appeared to affect the Esports fraternity in the least, for if anything the internet streaming channels compliment the digital aspect of the organization better than anything. This only serves to highlight just where the world is heading in terms and entertainment availability.
Esports events have changed the face of gaming, almost having given supporters levels to aspire too, just as young lads look to their favorite footballers and dream to one day reach their level. Verizon, an American telecommunications company, have announced their intentions to shift focus towards Esports, which will surely have rivals sitting up and taking notes.
So as the realization of the possibilities of our digital age sink in, expect to be hearing the term Esports more frequently.