The Rise of Esports

How video games have become legitimate sporting events around the world

When we think of sporting events, we usually think of sports involving physical contact. Some forms of competitive sports are displayed in forms we do not always see, especially in the age of being in a global pandemic. This brings in some interest to the world of international esports. Esports originated in the year of 1972 with tournaments for games such as space invaders, pacman, super mario bros; all kinds of games that we view as classics. Although it was only in its beginning phase, it managed to gain thousands and thousands of players ready to compete in games that we see today as “old”.

Anyone who is passionate about video games knows the feeling of competing with friends of the same skill level and giving it their all. That is the feeling of participating in any kind of gaming tournament no matter what video game is being played. Many in the gaming world are familiar with the old game Atari, “who is responsible for creating esports, becoming the first company that held the space invaders championship in 1980 attracting around 10,000 competitors along with attracting Guinness world records” (Rookie Road). It brought forth a new perspective on esports throughout the entire world, and for years this franchise has grown more and more. “There’s more money in Esports than ever before. Prize pools for both the 2019 Dota 2 International and the 2019 Fornite World Cup surpassed $30 million” (Learn G2). Esports has grown to become a billion dollar franchise.

For the past couple of years, competitive gaming has started to grow more accessible to people in many ways. For example, today we are familiar with high school esports teams. Many schools within Stockton Unified have put in the investments to give schools a shot at esports and because of this, high school esports championships has become a path that leads to successful scholarships and even college acceptances based on their participation in these activities which lead on to future plans such as a college Esports team.

In more recent times, the pandemic raises the question of how it has affected a sport that does not require much physical connection since almost every aspect of it is online. Because of this modern problem, modern solutions were introduced in the form of online streaming services, and occasionally such events show up on live television. Throughout the years, esport tournaments have been growing increasingly popular and alot more frequent than other sporting events due to its year round season. It is not like other sports we see today such as soccer, basketball, or football. Esports is something that goes on all the time, therefore it is always open to gaining more viewership and is easily accessible due to popular online streaming services. The industry is sure to grow in the upcoming years and will continue to gain popularity in the masses, like any other sport.

Works Cited
Pickell, Devin. “What Is Esports and How Did It Become a $1 Billion Industry?” https://learn.g2.com/esports
Rookie Road. “Esports History.” Rookie Road, Rookie Road, 25 Jan. 2021, www.rookieroad.com/esports/history/.