eSports is the fastest-growing entertainment market for players and businesses alike. This game is played between teams on popular video games. It may sound as if it is all playing around, but you couldn’t be more wrong. This is a billion-dollar industry that has seen steady growth for the better part of the last decade. The growth of the game has seen massive endorsements and advertising revenue pouring in from numerous sponsors.
eSports enjoy mass appeal with enthusiasts streaming matches from all over the world. A single tournament can be viewed by as many as 34 million people online. In this article, we take a light-hearted look at this entertaining sport. Here are five things you didn’t know about eSports.
1 – Started Before the Internet
Okay, maybe we are stretching it a little because ARPANET was in the 1960s. But it was definitely before ordinary folk were online. Competitive video gaming started in the 70s. The first video games tournament was in 1972 and was held at Stanford University. It was played on the game Space War and the winner received a free one year Rolling Stone magazine subscription. The game has surely made massive headway since then.
2 – eSports filled an Olympic stadium
eSports events have become a major attraction. Many fans from all over the world are spurring the popularity of this sport. For years, different eSports leagues have been filling stadiums across the world. The best players from these leagues meet annually for the world championships where millions of dollars in winning money are on the line. The League of Legends championship was held in South Korea in 2014.
This had 45,000 fans in live attendance, but at least 11million more streamed the event online. These stats were dwarfed three years later in Beijing, China. The National Stadium had hosted an Olympics meeting before. This time around, 91,000 tickets sold out in seconds with over 100million more viewers online.
3 – Manchester United Wanted an eSports Team Bad
We well know the red devils for their extraordinary success in the English Premier League. But it is reported that Manchester United wanted to purchase an eSports team and got into it with Fanatic. In the world of eSports, Fanatic is a juggernaut. It is one of the biggest organisations in the industry. The team at the centre of the controversy played OverWatch – a team-based shooting game. Many high profile sports franchises have recognised the potential and broad appeal of eSports and have sought to get into the industry. But none made as huge a wave as the storm brewed by the boys from Manchester.
4 – eSports Gambling Scandal
Now, to understand this one, we have to take it from the start. The popular game CS: GO upgrades your weapons through in-game skins. It makes for a more customised experience. You can buy skins from the game shop or you get them from within the game. Players started trading the skins for money between each other. People were willing to pay a king’s ransom for rare skins.
Entrepreneurs created websites where you could use the skins as wagers in eSports matches. There are reports that this illegal market grew to over $2billion in 2015. The market was quickly abused because it was not regulated, forcing the authorities to step in. Today gambling enthusiasts can still bet on eSports, but this is now in regulated sites not on Gamstop.
5 – eSports Players Cheat
Well, at least some of them, anyway. There are special features in games played in eSports that give you unique attributes like seeing through walls or have your bullets always hitting the target. Cheat codes change the game to where your skill is not that important. Needless to say, this does not go well with tournament organisers and games developers.
This is the reason eSports tournaments are held offline. However, some determined cheats use flash drives to import cheats and use them in the game. Some of these cheats are impossible to notice merely by observation. This has led tournament organisers to implement harsh penalties for those caught using cheat codes. Not only will you be ejected from the tournament, but you are also banned.