There was a time when millions of people, all across the globe, would wait every year with bated breath for their favorite sporting events and tournaments to arrive. They would either buy tickets to these events or try to catch the action live on their television screens. Sports like badminton, lawn tennis, swimming and even chess, have always had a broad fan base. People root for their favorite teams to win and look up to their favorite players for inspiration and success stories. However, over the last few decades, the domain of sports has witnessed massive changes, in not just its approach but also in the kind of games that the area has started including under its umbrella. One major segment of sports, and much to the liking of gaming enthusiasts and nerds is the segment of eSports. And truth be told, eSports is not exactly something that is entirely new. The very first eSports tournament to be held was in the fall of 1972 at Stamford University, and students competed on the video game Spacewar. Since then, video games have risen to a whole different level and garnered an amazing spectatorship. In light of the same topic, we shall discuss the history and evolution of eSports and check how they have gone on to attain such a majestic stature over a period of time. But first, we shall provide a general overview of eSports before we delve into its history and subsequent evolution.
What is eSports?
In a time and age that is dominated by abbreviations, cool lingos and jargons, it should come as little surprise that eSports means Electronic Sports. Therefore, any kind of game that requires an electronic medium for its access, and that is used as a means of competition between several parties, can be regarded as eSports. In a nutshell, eSports is nothing but a sports tournament for electronic or video games. There was a time when people across several age groups would play these games for the sake of pure entertainment and leisure. However, as days bled into months and years, more and more people took to gaming as a serious affair and went on to make an impressive career out of it. Gaming is now considered as a full-fledged profession as much as any other job and makes for a lucrative vocational choice.
A discussion on eSports cannot ensue without having looked into some of the games that happen to be quite a rage in the tournaments. Mentioned below are a few games that you might already know of, that makes it to most of the eSports tournaments.
First-Person Shooter Events-
These types of games have been creating quite a stir in the air ever since their launch, so much so that the governing bodies of eSports too, could not keep their hands off them. These are mainly shooting games that take place in the first-person order, like Call of Duty, Apex Legends and Halo.
Multiplayer Online Battle Arena Events-
Also abbreviated as the MOBA events, these usually encompass games like League of Legends and Dota 2. These games are multiplayer battle arena video games and have been regarded as favorite choices among gamers when it comes to competing in the eSports.
Fighter Game Events-
Fighter game events including games like Mortal Kombat and Super Smash Bros are also much sought after by gamers given the kind of thrill they have to offer. Plus, the rewards that these games offer in the eSports tournaments are not something that you can brush under the rug. They make for a handsome amount, enough to nudge the gamers to indulge more in them.
Other Game Events-
Besides the ones that we have enumerated in this section, there are several other gaming events that involve sports games like Madden and NBA2K. Card games and real-time strategies also form their own chain of events that grab the attention of many gamers all around the world.
The Evolution of eSports:
Now that you know a bit about the various kinds of games that are included in the eSports tournaments, we shall now gear your attention towards the subsequent evolution of these tournaments so that you are able to have a holistic understanding of the topic at hand.
The 80s and the 90s-
The 1980s saw several companies rising to create records of massive video game scores. Twin Galaxies was one such company that scored high enough to be able to find a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. The 90s was a time when video games started achieving more structure, and developers of these games started coming up with better ideas to create engaging content for video games. Also, companies like Nintendo and Championship started being generous sponsors to several video game championships. These championships are what assumed more definite shapes and came to be known as eSports tournaments.
The Turn of the Millennium and Present Day-
eSports has risen to such a status that it has become as popular and famous as any other sporting event or tournament. The turn of the millennium saw some major international tournaments on the rise like the World Cyber Games and the Electronic Sports World Cup. The Major League Gaming tournament was launched in 2002, and it remains the largest eSports championship till date.
In a Nutshell:
eSports shall continue to grow in leaps and bounds. With several new games deluging the fore of gaming, and cutting-edge technology being used to develop the domain, eSports shows no signs of slowing down. It keeps growing with every passing day, and it requires little mention that it shall continue to serve the mushrooming market of gaming. The revenue of eSports is supposed to hit a whopping 1.5 billion by the end of the year, which only reinstates our faith in this area. Therefore, if you have a passion for gaming, maybe now is the time to turn the passion into a profession and take a leap of faith by participating in one or more eSports tournaments. You never know what jackpot you might hit!