As of right now, there is something big going on all over the world, eSports. Online gaming has become almost like the real competitions. The eSports community has hosted tournaments for many years, with thousands of fans and players eager to enter, and eager to win. In the coming weeks, the world's top players will be congregating for the League of Legends 2017 World Championship in China. In this article we will discuss eSports in general, as well as the main event happening in China in the coming weeks, and how it will impact eSports and the companies hosting the event.
What are E-sports?
Esports, is the term given to video game competitions, where individuals, as well as teams of professional video game players compete in a tournament-like environment. The most common type of esport competitions include first person shooter games such as Call Of Duty, and team tactical war games such as League of Legends.
Here's a statistic from 2013: An approximate figure of 71.5 million people was recorded, stating that these people watched esports. That's just a bit over half of the amount of people who watched the super bowl this year. The numbers continue to grow and as players get better, and graphics improve, the area is becoming more and more competitive.
In 3 years, the esports industry will more than likely be generating a whopping $1.5 billion in annual revenue. Riot Games, the developing company who created the popular game League Of Legends, signed an estimated three hundred million dollar deal with Disney for streaming rights. This was a strategic move by the game giant, as being able to stream tournaments and individual gameplay, increase the visuality of their company among the millions of viewers around the world through places like YouTube and Twitch.
Riot games was introduced in the previous section, they developed the League of Legends franchise, and will be the host of this year's League of Legends World Tournament. The tournament will see professional esports teams from all over the world, with Cloud 9 from the United States, SK Telecom T1 from Korea, and Samsung Galaxy, yes, the mobile phone behemoth also sponsors a professional esports team.
While these teams are openly popular, the lesser known Riot Games has been quietly raking up plenty of sponsorship for their giant firm. Mercedes-Benz, Coke, Acer Gaming, among other top known brands, have sponsored Riot Games in previous years. The more money the company attracts will not only help the esports community as a whole, but it has allowed individual players to earn a good living playing their favorite video games, in a highly competitive atmosphere. They not only earn money from the tournament games, but they also earn money from sponsorship deals and for streaming their gameplay online. The number one top earning player in the world raked in $1.9 million in 2015 alone.
One of the main reasons why esports have become so popular, and tournaments have gotten to the level they are at, is the way in which streaming is shared. On TV you may see soccer, basketball, cricket, polo, and BMX games, but you may never see an esports tournament on CBS. The reason is that esports is really an “online thing”. The reason why Riot Games made the deal with Disney's BAMTech, is for this reason.
Future of eSports
Esports has become almost like real sports. In an interview, the Co-Head of Riot Games stated that the reason they chose to use a pre-existing platform, such as the sports industry, was to not have to re-invent the wheel. Sports already have team owners, well-paid players, and a business-driven environment. Esports is no different. The goal of the Riot Games franchise is to create game team owners that are sophisticated enough to build, operate, and grow businesses. He also mentioned that he wants to keep esports out of the mainstream and cultivate this growing movement into something that fascinates the true fans.
In conclusion, a short overview was given on the term “esports”. Esports is a term given to video game tournaments where professional team members play against each other in an environment facilitated by humans and computers, to decide who is the best at a particular video game. The industry has been growing tremendously, and with sponsorship from some of the biggest brand names in the world, Riot Games will continue to lead the way in esports community.