People will always look for new and exciting ways to kill time. Before technology came into existence, kids of all ages had played outside with their friends. Today, things are slightly different. Most homes have a computer, and almost everyone owns a smartphone to play games on.
However, there’s one aspect of the gaming community that is growing in popularity. eSports is fun for both observers and gamers, so much so that there are professional gamers who earn a living by playing games and competing. Still, many people aren’t familiar with the history of eSport, and today you get to read more about it.
What Exactly Is eSports?
eSports is defined as an activity that involves physical exertion and skill. It’s played by an individual or in teams that compete against one another in an online game. Games in question are often multiplayer games like strategy, combat, or sport. eSports is also known as electronic sports or professional video gaming.
The History of eSports
Some would think that eSports came to life relatively recently. Surprisingly, the first idea of eSports dates back to the 1970s. According to most experts, the first eSports event occurred at Stanford University on October 19, 1972.
The game that people played was called Spacewar, and it was developed in 1962. The reward—a yearly subscription to Rolling Stone magazine.
During the 1980s, there was another significant event that helped video gaming take off. The Space Invaders Championships were held by Atari and attracted about 10,000 participants. This tournament was one of the largest video game competitions at the time.
With the further development of gaming consoles, games became better and better, and the next vital eSports event happened in May 1997. Red Annihilation was one of the first nationwide gaming competitions. The initial phase included 2,000 players, while the final phase included 16 top players.
These 16 gamers flew to Atlanta to compete at the Electronic Entertainment Expo for a Ferrari 328 GTS.
Video games and online gaming continued to develop and grow in popularity. Internet cafes started opening worldwide, and avid gamers could finally play games on powerful PCs they couldn’t afford.
In 2006 there was a Worldwide Webgames Championship with 71 players who competed for a $1 million prize. The number of tournaments is growing globally, and eSports is slowly becoming a way of life for many.
For example, there were 161 eSports tournaments in 2009, and in 2012 this number reached 696. The grand prize also rose from $2 million in 2009 to $10 million in 2012. League of Legends and Dota 2 became highly popular among players, and Twitch slowly became the number one streaming platform for eSports.
Where Is eSports Heading To?
Today’s eSports industry is worth about $1 billion, and the future is bright. The latest data shows that this industry will maintain a 15% annual growth by 2023.
The players will rely more on sponsorships as some famous companies like BMW, Levi’s, and Marvel are becoming interested in eSports.
Monetization options will also change with in-game skins and affiliate marketing becoming an important method of earning money. The audience will also grow since games are becoming more attractive each year.
The future also looks bright for mobile gamers. The technology has something new to offer almost every month, and the mobile gaming segment of the market will also grow. Another thing to consider is the fast development of VR and AR gaming tech and games.
The chances are that the future will bring a completely immersive gaming experience for both the gamers and the observers as soon as this technology becomes more affordable and accessible.
eSports took a while to become fully established. However, from the first tournament at Stanford University in 1972, where people competed for a magazine subscription, it grew to massive online and offline eSports championships where the rewards are millions of dollars.
This industry will likely remain popular and continue to grow. In the future, gamers might also have the chance to play in virtual reality and become completely immersed in the game for the ultimate experience.