eSports, or professional video gaming, is real. Really real. Competitive meetups are not new to video game culture, but the stakes are higher than ever. Think bright lights, young stars, super fans, and lots of money and you are on the right track.
Just this weekend in conjunction with the Mobile World Congress, one gaming network, ESL gaming hosted and invitational tournament in which the world’s top players in Lol and CS:GO battled it out for a total prize pool of €80,000. eSports competitions are usually multiplayer competitions between professional video gamers, although sometimes the competitions may be open to amateurs. The pros train up to 12 hours a day, and they need stamina, skill and wits, not unlike pro athletes. With the appearance of reliable online streaming services such as Twitch.tv, eSports have seen an even greater surge in popularity because matches can be watched from anywhere in the world. Forbes magazine put the viewership of last season’s Riot Games World Championship League of Legends final between SKT and Koo Tigers at 36 million unique viewers.
Not all countries recognize eSports tournaments as athletic competitions just yet, which means that some players are unable to obtain international athlete travel visas for international competitions, but this is changing quickly. Maybe eSports will be an Olympic event soon!
- Stakes: rewards for the winner
- Stamina: endurance
- Surge: sudden rise or growth