The audience of the 2014 League of Legends World Championship exceeded the audience of that years NBA Finals
Professional organized gaming is often given the term eSports which is short for electronic sports. ESports has been a part of gaming culture since the early days of gaming but has recently within the last 10 years taking up a large surge in popular. In particular the rise of internet connectivity has greatly benefited eSports gaming on the PC in particular.
Large tournament style gameplay has been one of the defining features of eSports. In these tournaments top professional players from various teams compete in tournaments with prize money usually sponsored from manufacturers and software companies. Some of the big names in tournaments include, World Cyber games, the Intel Extreme Masters, and Major League Gaming. Prize money and eSport tournament numbers have grown steadily over time from when measurements first began in 1998 as seen from data below (1).
One notable tournament was the 2014 The International: Dota 2 Championships which had a total prize pool of 10,931,103 USD. Predictably as tournament prize money has increased, so has the number of active pro eSports players competing for money. The number of active players peaked at 6228 in 2014.
Teams in eSports are similar to teams found in other sports. Teams are comprised of players, coaches and managers. It is common for members of a team to live under one roof in a house run by the manager. Teams often gain sponsorship’s as a means to generate income outside of traditional tournament prize winnings. There are a couple main organizations under which the teams play. These are the Korean eSports Association, the United Kingdom eSports Association and the International eSport Foundation.
Some famous teams from around the world include, Team Liquid(United States), FNatic(Europe), OMG(China) and Samsung White (South Korea).
One difference between eSports teams and traditional sport teams is that eSports teams include multiple different sub teams for different games such as Counter-strike, League of Legends and DoTa.
Culture and Fanbase
It is undeniable that eSports culture in America and Europe lags behind their Asian counterparts. This may be due to differences in certain cultural stigma’s associated with playing video games.
South Korea is famous for producing some of the best eSports players and eSports Teams. Below is a link of Vice’s host Matt Shea who flew to Korea to explore South Korean dominance in eSports and eSports in general around the world.
1. “E-sports Earnings”. Retrieved 4/15/2015