eSports relies heavily on technology which means its inception is fairly new. Regardless of this it is a phenomenon that has taken the world by storm and become one of the biggest sporting events in Australia and the rest of the world.
eSports is also referred to as competitive gaming; professional gaming or electronic sports and is a video game tournament where expert players battle it out for the highest score, rank and top prize. The prize pool reaches the millions making it a very sought after prize.
Global revenues reach a quarter of a billion and there are more than a million viewers who regularly watch eSports tournaments. It has become a huge market for the online betting industry and continues to grow every day.
It has become a huge phenomenon in Australia where a large portion of viewers participate in eSports betting which is becoming increasingly popular.
Back in 1972 when the first video game competition took place players competed in an intergalactic type of Space war Olympics and the main prize was a mere year subscription to the rolling Stones magazine. In 2015 the prize pool was over US$18 million.
It was two decades ago, in 1997, that the first professional video gamer appeared on the BusinessWeek cover. He was a part of the beginning of the Cyberathlete Professional League, or CPL, which awarded him the final prize of US$500 000 in 2005.
1997 saw the birth of the Electronic Sports League too which saw its number of players rise to one million in the first eight years and four million by 2013. Electronic Sports League players were situated in over 46 countries and had over 883 000 registered teams.
In 2014, the League of Legends World Championships had over 30 million online viewers which was calculated to be more than the World Series, the NBA finals and the Stanley Cup finals had.
The major reasons for the rise in eSports include the fact that new platforms were being developed for viewing the video game tournaments, there was a huge surge in the popularity of geek culture and the many new business models.
The new viewing platforms were however the core reasons and have shown major innovation in technology. Viewers can now stream the tournaments that are held every day and viewing has not only become more pleasant but it is far more accessible to all.
Streaming has allowed players to gain an income from advertisements, streaming subscription fees and donations from various viewers. This has created an attainable goal of making a living playing video games.
Viewers can sit back and watch, place bets or even interact with the players using best online betting guide. It is estimated that about 40 percent of eSports viewers are not, in fact, video game players themselves.
The surge of geek culture saw this identity becoming more mainstream and no longer a derogatory term. This has allowed those with intellect and prowess in video gaming to unleash their skills in a positive and profitable manner.