eSports: What They are, How They Work, Major Players

The International Journal of communication 14(2020) highlights the importance of South Korea in esports’ early rise. The original game featured two spaceships, ‘the needle’ and ‘the wedge’ maneuvering the gravity well of a star. Players would lose the game if their controlled ship would be destroyed, either via crashing into a torpedo, the star or into each other.

  • The International also draws a huge viewership on streaming sites like Twitch, with this meaning betting on the International is also common.
  • As you can see from the games mentioned, eSports titles can vary massively with various genres included.
  • These PC Bangs saw friendly communities develop which later organically transitioned into competitions.
  • Major tournaments will have cash prizes, with some of the best players having contracts wherein they receive a salary every month, making it a viable career path for those who are talented enough to compete.

With shady investors and unfulfilled prize money promises, the esports industry has had its fair share of ups and downs. But it has continued to grow through all of it and is one of the fastest growing and most promising industries in the world today. Due to the normalization of gaming and the internet (along with technological advances) the real surge of esports came in the noughties. It was then that we began seeing what we now know to be modern-day esports. As streaming platforms such as Twitch and YouTube took off, people began to show interest in not only playing videogames but watching them too.


There were certain moves at the start of the game that became extremely popular amongst experienced players and would often be recreated in almost every match. The 2023 ESL Premiership is a regional league where the best teams from the United Kingdom are to compete for a prize pool of $16,576. In the coming year, the global economy will grow to $905.6 million. $694 million (77%) of this of this will be generated through sponsorship ($174 million), advertising ($359 million), media rights and content licenses ($161 million).

Probably one of more famous tournaments was the Quakecon which featured a BYOC-type setting and was seen as a celebration of all of ZeniMax Media IPs. ZeniMax media was the owner of id software, the developers of Quake and other titles. The event had to move to an online format since 2000 due to travel restrictions and safety concerns following the pandemic. As the game developed, players started coming up with strategies to use gravitational force to their advantage.

As a result, none of the games are streamable via Riot’s platforms, nor will AEL teams be invited to compete in international tournaments like the Mid-Season Invitational or Worlds. Simply put, esports are video games that are played in a highly organized competitive environment. These games can range from popular, team-oriented multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs), to single player first person shooters, to survival battle royales, to virtual reconstructions of physical sports. Esports betting is largely done on the top-flight leagues and tournaments surrounding professional video gaming. For instance you might find betting on the final stages of a League of Legends tournament, but you won’t find any markets on the online qualifying. This is because esports handicapping is still a relatively young game, and the depth of the player pools means new esports stars are emerging all the time.

While game publishers or esports broadcasters typically act in oversight roles for specific esports, a number of esports governing bodies have been established to collectively represent esports on a national, regional or global basis. These governing bodies may have various levels of involvement with the esport, from being part of esports regulation to simply acting more as a trade group and public face for esports. In addition to professional and amateur esports, esports have drawn attention of colleges and high schools since 2008. is the place where you can find everything you need to know about esports. So stay tuned to esports for the latest information about this wonderful industry. OWL is in a unique position as Activision Blizzard released a new game – Overwatch 2 – in 2022.

Esports are typically watched through video streaming platforms such as Twitch, YouTube or Mixer. All three are available through your web browser and as apps for iOS and Android devices. Only a few weeks later, the Cyberathlete Professional League was formed – an organization which is considered a pioneer of esports. It can all be a bit confusing, so we’ve gathered up everything you need to know about esports in this handy guide.

The Overwatch League boasts some big names as franchise owners including Kraft Group, Beasley Media Group, Comcast Spectacor, NetEase, Huya Inc. amongst others. There are also multiple traditional esports organizations that own franchise spots in the Overwatch League. “We had to get endorsements from participants and prove that this is a consistent, viable career path and people can make a living playing games.” Riot Games VP Dustin Beck told Polygon. These PC Bangs saw friendly communities develop which later organically transitioned into competitions.

As more investments are made, sponsorship budgets increase and more developers push an esports agenda, the industry continues to climb from strength to strength – even sporting giants such as Formula 1, FIFA and the NFL are getting involved. Organizer BLAST has announced that for the “foreseeable future” no Russian-based teams will be allowed to participate in their tournaments. Most games will have ranked modes and playlists you can jump into via the game itself. You’ll be matchmade with others online and often – but not always – this mode will have slightly different rules than the standard game, with some restrictions or timer differences.

The first tournament, The International, has remained a staple of the Dota 2 esports scene. Every year, the best Dota 2 teams get together to compete for the glory of being the best team in the game. Despite Twitch being synonymous with esports, the platform’s near-monopoly over esports streaming has posed significant problems for tournament organizers. One of the biggest sources of revenue for traditional sports is via massive exclusive broadcast rights deals.

Streamers are celebrities in their own right in the esports world, with it not uncommon for the best to have millions of followers. With the advancements of technology at the time, it was no surprise to see the evolution of video games. The increased interest in video games allowed developers to focus on making their games more appealing to the public. It allowed people to not be together to play the game – a game changer of sorts. In 1974, Sega hosted the All Japan TV Game Championships, a nationwide arcade video game tournament in Japan to promote its video games in the country. Sixteen finalists (chosen from over 300 local participants)  competed in this event.

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