Playing videos games professionally is always a dream of young adults. What is the better job than playing video games whole day and get paid for that?
What exactly is Electronic Sports?
Competitive gaming or in short eSports is coming from the word electronic sports. Electronic sport is a competition between players and there can only be one winner, one person or one team that will take the tournament price. Most popular games with high eSports competition are multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBA), real-time strategies (RTS), fighting games and first-person shooters (FPS).
It all started in the October of 1972. The game was “Spacewar,” and 24 students began a fight of the first recorded esports tournament. The tournament was held at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. The winner got a nice price for a yearly subscription to the Rolling Stone magazine which you can buy even today. The whole event was also covered by the Rolling Stone magazine, and that was the first eSport tournament in the media.
In 1980 we had a real massive multiplayer eSport event. Championship of the most popular game of that time “Space Invaders” was held by Atari. There were over 10 000 players, and there can be only one winner. We can say that with Space Invaders and the Atari event new sport was born.
Just a year later Twin Galaxies was found by Walter Aldo Day Jr., and the whole purpose of this company was to promote video gaming and make the video game records publicized through the media of that time. The most famous media was the Guinness Book of World Records.
Everyone wanted to get into a Guinness Book of World Records. And U.S. national team was born. The whole purpose of this team was to promote gaming and break records. The team played many events and tournaments and set new records that were ready to be taken over by new teams in the future.
14 years later the whole new level of competitive gaming was born. The first person shooter game “Quake” is considered as one of the first real esports games. The first tournament was held by Red Annihilation in 1997, and the winner got Ferrari. After that big winning tournament, the first gaming league was formed. CPL (Cyberathlete Professional League) later that year held the first tournament. And already next year CPL held the tournament where the first price was 15 000$.
At this period most of the esports competitive games were the first-person shooter. FPS games offered lots of action to the players and the audience as well. The main focus in this games was on reflexes, reactions and focus overall. But the first RTS esports game that is played even today was born in that period. Starcraft: Brood War was first real time strategy game where gamers need to have other skills than reflexes and reactions. They need to have strategic plans, think in front. Real-time strategies are considered one of the most strategic games of all time. You can even compare RTS to chess.
Starcraft with lots of in-game content offered lots of strategic plays. Different races with different specialties and abilities with powers and weaknesses gave the game thrill, and the audience just appreciates that even today.
In the 90s Nintendo also held World Championship in the United States of America. The competition was spread all over the USA. Competition finals were held in California in Hollywood inside Universal Studio.
The Y2K year was impressive for the eSport. Two organizations were born in that year the Electronic Sports World Cup and World Cyber Games. WCG was an international organization, and they held competitions all over the globe. It gave the opportunity to the players from China, South Korea, Singapore, Italy, and the USA to participate on their home ground and win the expensive prizes. Over 800 000 participants competed in WCG events which were held in 78 countries.
The ESWC organization is really serious about gaming. Even then they demanded to treat the gamers who participate in ESCW as real athletes and the games they play a real sport. ESCW hold many events, organized many tournaments, and through 12 years they gave over 2 millions of prize money. Over 500 000 people were entertained by ESWC in their 21st-century shows.
Another gaming organization was born in 2002, MLG. Major League Gaming was supposed to be just like a real league of gamers. The league did not focus only on one type of game but instead organized events with many different kinds of games. But still, most attractive games were first-person shooter and real-time strategy. MLG also offered prize pools larger than 200 000 dollars and that amount just made everyone playing games. MLG also had they own broadcasting website MLG.tv which is still working today. MLG also provided a unique ranking system based on points. Only by a strong ranking system, you can say who is the best player in the world. MLG Pro Circuit events exceeded over 10 million participants.
It is a year to remember. In 2006 the first major gaming tournament was hosted by television in North America. The game was HALO 2, but the audience did not really like it I guess. No significant audience was present, and that sets thing a little bit down fo esports fans.
2006 – 2014
Nothing much of a big difference happen in this period except many leagues and gaming organization were born.
Dreamhack is born, and they are known as one of the gaming organization to host a tournament on the 20GB LAN network which was provided by Telia. That event was held in 2010. Dreamhack is known for holding events with many exciting games, team-based games, one on one gaming, racing games, strategy games and fighting games. All covered with cool music.
GSL (Global Starcraft 2 League) is another league that is worth to be mentioned. It is one of the biggest and most popular StarCraft leagues from South Korea. South Korea is considered a country where strategy games are most popular among esport players. GSL on the Twitch has over 17 million viewers, and that is only on Twitch. GSL is probably one of the most watched channels among the video gamers. Starcraft 2 is the number one RTS game since 2010 when it was released.
In the period around 2010, MOBA was born. MOBA stands for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena where you have two teams fighting for the glory. Most popular MOBA game is DOTA 2. DOTA 2 is a game taken from the DOTA mod for Warcraft 3. Today, DOTA 2 is one of the most successful games in esports. DOTA 2 events are watched by millions, and the same amount of money is given to the winners as well as other participants. MOBA games are considered a real-time strategy games, but only in MOBA, you don’t control all the units but only one hero.
MOBA is extremely popular and future of the esports gaming. DOTA 2 is not the only successful MOBA game. LOL was born in 2009 and developed by Riot Games is nowadays considered even more popular game than DOTA 2. The mechanics are similar; the only difference is in the content and of course the strategy. The end goal is the same. You need to defeat the enemy team by working together with your team.
LOL held first Dreamhack tournament in 2011 which was viewed by over 11 million people all over the world.
In 2013, LOL reached a final goal. It is considered and classified as a major sporting event. Because of that US government treats LOL Pro players professional athletes and grants them working visas in the USA.
The year to remembers. Soon we may see esports games in the Olympics. On January 7, 2015, eSports entered the 2nd degree Olympic Sports category. Which means that the eSports are now beside chess, automobile racing and polo. Thanks to KeSPA, a South Korean gaming association we may soon see esports on the Olympic events. KeSPA is a gaming association born in 2000, and the primary goal of this association is to bring professional gamers together.
In 2018 we may see a whole new esports gaming. MOBA games are still very popular, and the tournaments in all of them are having large prizes and active audience. The whole gaming industry is turning into making competitive online games. The latest one is survivor games. As you are reading this now, millions of players are playing PUBG. PUBG is the newest esports game that took over the world. It actually takes over the throne from MOBA games like LOL and DOTA 2. PUBG is a simple survivor game where you just need to be last man standing, and the funny part is that there is a vast map and 100 participants willing to do the same. Playerunknown’s Battleground is released in 2018, but there are already several other similar survivor games in development that may take the new esports gaming cake. What will happen with MOBA it is not known, only time will tell. But it is possible that they will lose momentum just like RTS games lost some momentum when MOBA games were born. Until then, keep up training and let the last man take the prize.One of them is Fortnite Battle Royale which already have millions of players and many PUBG players are switching over to the Fortnite Battle Royale. What will happen with MOBA it is not known, only time will tell. But it is possible that they will lose momentum just like RTS games lost some momentum when MOBA games were born. Until then, keep up training and let the last man take the prize.