E-Sports, the rise of a new competitive field.

  •          There has always been competitive gaming since the birth of any type of game. When two (or more) players come together showing their passion and skills, duking it out, there we have competition. In the early 2000s tournaments and competitions involving video games were popular, but in their respective niches. Since just about 2010 and forward, the market for competitive gaming had begun to rise, and at a tremendous pace. Thanks to YouTube, and Twitch.tv players were able to stream and/or upload their video(s) and get an audience. It was not very long until Twitch.tv (Which is a streaming service in which the person is streaming their game session at that moment, while others watch him/her play) became the goto spot to watch people playing online games. This is mostly due to the popularity of games like: League of Legends, Starcraft, Dota2, Call of Duty, Counter Strike, and many others. 
              In 2014 during the League of Legends World Championships, Riot Games reported seeing around 288 Million different viewers globally, that is an amazing number. (You can read about those numbers here: http://www.riotgames.com/articles/20141201/1628/worlds-2014-numbers) E-sports is such a highly growing field, that there are now pro-players, just like pro-athletes, who make their living off playing the game(s) they love. There are now many aspiring individuals who want to make it pro, there are audiences who tune in to watch these tournaments, and with all that comes the money as well. In 2014 Dota2's International Tournament had a prize pool (for the top players ranked) of over $10 Million USD. We can see that E-sports is not just a hobby, it is something taken serious, has regulations, and is only going up from this point. 
              With the rise of pro-players, colleges are now beginning to offer scholarships for League of Legends athletic players, they are even having college teams, with college tournaments all across the country. This is exciting news for anyone who loves playing competitive online video games. (You can read more about that here: http://www.pcgamer.com/another-college-to-offer-scholarships-for-league-of-legends-players/) Riot Games also offers a colegiate program that is designed to get college players into a league with other college players, and eventually, possibly become pro-players themselves.  
              Like with any sport, there are ethics in E-sports, there was a cheating incident during a League of Legends tournament where a member of the Azubu Frost team cheated by looking at the screen behind them that is intended for the crowd/audience only, which shows information about the match that is not intended for the player's of the match to see themselves, as it would offer an advantage. This led to the team being fined $30,000 USD. It is a popular thing E-sports, and we now see that it is an organized, legitimate entity. The companies for the games try their best to keep the competitive spirit alive, and keep things fair. 
               So where does this leave the future of E-sports? Bright and bountiful, it is only going to grow, and try to target audiences from all across the world. I'll leave it with this X-games article for their belief of the future of E-sports: http://xgames.espn.go.com/xgames/article/11904068/money-action-future-esports


    Written by: Elvin Natal Quinones