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After sponsorship comes media rights and advertising. This sector has seen drastic growth due to the target audience of Esports being untethered to traditional media.
For example, live streaming software is a popular method of broadcasting Esports events. As a matter of fact, gamers ages spend 77 percent more time watching other people playing online than watching broadcast sports.
There are roughly million total viewers of Esports today, however, that number is expected to surge over the next few years. An astonishing 57 percent of Esports enthusiasts come from the Asia-Pacific region.
Esports has a traditionally male-heavy viewership, but things have changed. Women make up more than 30 percent of today's audience — up 6.
With the rise of Esports comes an inspired generation of gamers, and some unique opportunities for video game publishers and developers.
The latest research shows us that more than one-third of gamers worldwide would quit their jobs today if they could pursue a full-time career in professional gaming.
Although, becoming a professional gamer is easier said than done. Just like professional athletes in soccer, football, basketball, and other major sports, finding success as a professional gamer is very difficult.
Patry is spot on with his comment. Most aspiring professionals begin their careers in their mid-teenage years and reach their peak in their early-to-mids.
Creator Games Pick'em. ESPN Deportes. The Undefeated. SEC Network. ESPN Fantasy. Insomniac Games at the forefront of the PlayStation 5's release Insomniac Games has two big titles coming up for the early days of the PlayStation 5.
The top 15 PlayStation 5 games to play on release On the eve of the PlayStation 5's release date, we've got 15 games you need to play if you're getting it on Day One.
Who defined the League of Legends worlds meta? A conversation about race and diversity in esports and gaming ESPN reached out to Ezra "Samsora" Morris, Erin Ashley Simon, Amanda Stevens and Malik Forte to find out more about the issues that affect Black people in the esports and gaming industry and what teams and orgs can do to make it a more welcoming space.
The first is simple because if a game isn't fun to play, then it's not going to be enjoyable to watch and players will lose interest quickly. On the other hand, balance is key because otherwise the game becomes uninteresting.
For example, if one gun was outright better than all of the others in Counter-Strike, nobody would use anything else and each match would be incredibly repetitive.
One example of an almost-perfect experience with regards to balance is Rocket League esports. Everyone is on an identical playing field aside from the car, which has a negligible effect on gameplay anyway - it results in a high skill ceiling and the concept is accessible for newcomers, since it's simply football with flying cars.
There's no catch-all solution to tune in to esports events, but the overwhelming majority will be streamed on Twitch. To find the specific events taking place, the website Esports Calendar is a handy resource that lists most events happening for the bigger games in the esports industry.
Pretty much every single esports event will be streamed live, whether it's the biggest annual competition or a regional qualifier for a league.
Most streams can be accessed via the "watch" button on the right-hand side of each listed event, but the calendar only has the top games.
For other titles, simply google the game name followed by "esports", and you'll be led to the right place. 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.
Largely though, it'll be the game you're familiar with. The first such league to be formed was the Overwatch League , established by Blizzard Entertainment in based on its Overwatch game.
It is the first esports league to be operated by a professional sports league, and the NBA sought to have a League team partially sponsored by each of the 30 professional NBA teams.
Its inaugural season is set to start May with 17 teams. Activision launched its team Call of Duty League in January , following the format of the Overwatch League but based on the Call of Duty series.
Cloud9 and Dignitas, among others, have started development of a franchise-based Counter-Strike: Global Offensive league, Flashpoint, in February This will be the first such esports league to be owned by the teams rather than any single organization.
Esports are also frequently played in tournaments, where potential players and teams vie to be placed through qualification matches before entering the tournament.
From there, the tournament formats can vary from single or double elimination , sometimes hybridized with group stage. The tournament may be part of a larger gathering, such as Dreamhack , or the competition may be the entirety of the event, like the World Cyber Games or the Fortnite World Cup.
Esport competitions have also become a popular feature at gaming and multi-genre conventions. Although competitions involving video games have long existed, esports underwent a significant transition in the late s.
Beginning with the Cyberathlete Professional League in , tournaments became much larger, and corporate sponsorship became more common. Increasing viewership both in person and online brought esports to a wider audience.
The average compensation for professional esports players does not compare to those of the top classical sports organizations in the world.
While prizes for esports competitions can be very large, the limited number of competitions and large number of competitors ultimately lowers the amount of money one can make in the industry.
For well established games, total prize money can amount to millions of U. Often, game developers provide prize money for tournament competition directly,  but sponsorship may also come from third parties, typically companies selling computer hardware , energy drinks , or computer software.
Generally, hosting a large esports event is not profitable as a stand-alone venture. There is considerable variation and negotiation over the relationship between video game developers and tournament organizers and broadcasters.
While the original StarCraft events emerged in South Korea largely independently of Blizzard, the company decided to require organizers and broadcasters to authorize events featuring the sequel StarCraft II.
In addition to professional and amateur esports, esports have drawn attention of colleges and high schools since Along with the bursting popularity of Esports over the last two decades came a demand for extended opportunities for Esport's athletes.
Universities across the world mostly China and America began offering scholarship opportunities to incoming freshmen to join their collegiate Esports teams.
According to Schaeperkoetter and others, the potential impact that an eSports program could have on a university, coupled with the growing interest that universities are showing in such a program, combine to make this line of research relevant in sport literature.
As of , over colleges has esports-based variety programs. While game publishers or esport broadcasters typically act in oversight roles for specific esports, a number of esport 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.
Originally formed in to help promote esports in the southeast Asian region, it has grown to include 56 member countries from across the global.
This body was designed more to be a managing partner for other esports, working to coordinate event structures and regulations across multiple esports.
Additionally, trade groups representing video games have also generally acted as governing bodies for esports. Notably, in November , five major national trade organizations - the Entertainment Software Association in the United States, the Entertainment Software Association of Canada , The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment , Interactive Software Federation of Europe , and the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association of Australian and New Zealand - issued a joined statement for supporting the promotion and participation of esports to respect player safety and integrity, respect and diversity among players, and enriching game play.
Pro gamers are usually obligated to behave ethically, abiding by both the explicit rules set out by tournaments, associations, and teams, as well as following general expectations of good sportsmanship.
For example, it is common practice and considered good etiquette to chat "gg" for "good game" when defeated. In a prominent example of good conduct, during a IEM StarCraft II game, the players Feast and DeMusliM both voluntarily offered information about their strategies to negate the influence of outside information inadvertently leaked to "Feast" during the game.
In professional League of Legends player Christian "IWillDominate" Riviera was banned from competing for a period of one year following a history of verbal abuse.
Team Siren, an all-female League of Legends team, was formed in June The announcement of the team was met with controversy, being dismissed as a "gimmick" to attract the attention of men.
There have been serious violations of the rules. In , eleven StarCraft: Brood War players were found guilty of fixing matches for profit , and were fined and banned from future competition.
Reports of widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs PEDs in esports are not uncommon, with players discussing their own, their teammates' and their competitors' use and officials acknowledging the prevalence of the issue.
Conversely, drugs with calming effects are also sought after. Some players take propranolol , which blocks the effects of adrenaline , or Valium , which is prescribed to treat anxiety disorder , in order to remain calm under pressure.
The unregulated use of such drugs poses severe risks to competitors' health, including addiction , overdose , serotonin syndrome and, in the case of stimulants, weight loss.
They commonly drink caffeinated drinks or use energy pills. There has been some concern over the quality of life and potential mistreatment of players by organizations, especially in South Korea.
Korean organizations have been accused of refusing to pay competitive salaries, leading to a slow exodus of Korean players to other markets.
In an interview, League of Legends player Bae "Dade" Eo-jin said that "Korean players wake up at 1 pm and play until 5 am", and suggested that the hour play schedule was a significant factor in causing burnout.
To combat the negative environment, Korean League of Legends teams were given new rules for the upcoming season by Riot Games, including the adoption of minimum salaries for professional players, requiring contracts and allowing players to stream individually for additional player revenue.
Players must handle their own treatments and carry their own medical insurance, which is the opposite of the norm with professional sports teams.
Since most esports play requires many actions per minute, some players may get repetitive strain injuries, causing hand or wrist pain. Gambling and betting on esport matches have generally been illegal in major markets.
The illegality of esport gambling has created a black market and virtual currency. And since it is not regulated, this may encourage match-fixing by players themselves, and lead to issues with underage gambling due to the draw of video games.
A bright example can be represented by skin gambling , where virtual items earned in games are used as a currency, and it let users bet on the outcome of matches.
The Act prevented all but five states from allowing gambling on sporting events. Some betting houses in Nevada, where sports betting has been already exempted under PASPA, classify esports as non-competitive "other events" similar to the selection of the Heisman Trophy winner or NFL Draft which are considered as legal.
Nevada legalized esports gambling in June , classifying esports alongside with competitive sports and dog racing. National Collegiate Athletic Association in May , PASPA was recognized as unconstitutional, as the Court claimed that the federal government cannot limit states from regulating sports betting.
This created the potential for legalized esports-based betting in the United States. In , the countries where esports gambling is legal include the UK, New Zealand, Australia, China, Spain, Canada, South Korea, and Japan, and many of them are the international hosts for gaming tournaments.
Just as it happens with traditional sports, bookmarkers and gambling companies do their best to attract as many gamblers as possible.
Yet, one of the biggest issues with the esports gambling industry has been its target audience. Thus, as an important part of the esports audience is underage most governments have been a bit skeptical regarding this market's moral view.
LGD team Dota 2 in August As far as esports gambling goes, most of the bets move within the same nature as they do with traditional sports.
Therefore, most gambling sites offering the booker service allow users to bet based on the outcome of tournaments, matches or special esports titles.
On the other hand, due to the nature of esports, there are plenty of innovative ways to bet, which are based on in-game milestones. Furthermore, there are different types of betting in esports based on the means of the bet.
While an important part of this market is guided by bookers, some games allow bets in their in-game currency.
With the growing popularity of machine learning in data analytics, [ citation needed ] esports has been the focus of several software programs that analyze the plethora of game data available.
Based on the huge number of matches played on a daily basis globally League of Legends alone had a reported million active monthly players worldwide in  and an average of 27 million League of Legends games played per day reported in  , these games can be used for applying big-data machine learning platforms.
Several games make their data publicly available, so websites aggregate the data into easy-to-visualize graphs and statistics. In addition, several programs use machine learning tools to predict the win probability of a match based on various factors, such as team composition.
As more esport competitions and leagues are run entirely or in portion by the video game publisher or developer for the game, the ongoing viability of that game's esport activities is tied to that company.
In December , Blizzard announced that it was reducing resources spent on the development of Heroes of the Storm and canceling its plans for tournaments in This caused several professional Heroes players and coaches recognizing their career was no longer viable, and expressed outrage and disappointment at Blizzard's decision.
The main medium for esports coverage is the Internet. For popular casters, providing commentary for esports can be a full-time position by itself.
In , the Associated Press ' AP Stylebook officially began spelling the word as "esports", dropping support for both the capital "S" and the dash between "e" and "sports" styles, similar to how " e-mail " transformed with common usage to "email".
Many esports events are streamed online to viewers over the internet. With the shutdown of the Own3d streaming service in , Twitch is by far the most popular streaming service for esports, competing against other providers such as Hitbox.
Individual broadcasters can enter an agreement with Twitch or Hitbox in which they receive a portion of the advertisement revenue from commercials which run on the stream they create.
For several years, MLG. YouTube also relaunched its livestreaming platform with a renewed focus on live gaming and esports specifically. Especially since the popularization of streaming in esports, organizations no longer prioritize television coverage, preferring online streaming websites such as Twitch.
Riot Games' Dustin Beck stated that "TV's not a priority or a goal",  and DreamHack's Tomas Hermansson said "esports have [been proven] to be successful on internet streaming [services].
The first-place team from the University of California, Berkeley received tuition for each of the team's players, paid for by Blizzard and Tespa.
This was the first time an eSport had ever been broadcast on a major American television network. The broadcast was an attempt to broaden the appeal of esports by reaching viewers who would not normally come across it.
However, the broadcast was met with a few complaints. Those living outside of the United States were unable to view the tournament.
Additionally, the tournament could not be viewed online via streams, cutting off a large portion of viewers from the main demographic in the process.
The tournament, filmed at Turner's studios in Atlanta, Georgia , is simultaneously streamed on online streaming websites and TBS on Friday nights.
He felt that higher quality productions, more in line with those of traditional sports telecasts, could help to broaden the appeal of esports to advertisers.
TV 2 , the largest private television broadcaster in Norway , broadcasts esports across the country. Nielsen Holdings , a global information company known for tracking viewership for television and other media, announced in August that it would launch Nielsen esports, a division devoted to providing similar viewership and other consumer research data around esports, forming an advisory board with members from ESL , Activision Blizzard , Twitch , YouTube , ESPN , and FIFA to help determine how to track and monitor audience sizes for eSport events.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about video game competitions. For simulated sports in video games, see sports game.
For multiplayer games in general, see multiplayer video game. Main article: List of esports games. See also: Video game design. Further information: LAN Party.
See also: List of esports leagues and tournaments. Main article: College esports in the United States. Further information: Professional ethics.