They fill stadiums, are 'trending topic' and thousands of viewers follow live broadcasts of the competitions. Still, eSports still amazed to discover them for the first time, but you know what exactly is this phenomenon?
Ten uniformed teenagers take to the stage in the middle of a light show and music. Each sits behind a computer while 45,000 people chanting their names from the stands. Not the FIFA World Cup, is the League of Legends, the game more often the e-sports industry, a recent phenomenon that is here to stay.
The 'electronic sports' or 'eSports' are not only the competitive aspect of the game but a revolutionized way of understanding the sport. A teenager industry (barely has twenty years of existence) orchestrated around professional video game competitions currently living its consolidation process in countries such as South Korea, United States, Sweden and Germany while extending to other countries like Spain.
Video games were just kid stuff ...
Now these children have grown up and they have followed others born in the Internet era. digital natives who have changed the ball through the mouse or a control console and found a new way to interact, have fun and compete. ESports have appropriated the fundamentals of traditional sports competitions and have adapted to the digital world. Teams, leagues, tournaments, signings, arbritros, commentators, coaches and players who have made video game competitions a very profitable profession that attracts the attention of the younger ones. eSports betting getting more and more popular between gamers and gamblers.
How video games can be a sport?
Spanish Royal Academy says that a sport is "recreation, pastime, pleasure, fun or exercise," a sense in which they have no place from weightlifting, through chess, to motorsports. Also professional video game competitions, a set of eminently mental disciplines where the physical component is also crucial. But if there is a word linked to sport is 'show'.
Sports fans want to show
However purists who want to be in the definition of 'sport' is the show that makes a competition in a mainstream sport. Do not forget that are football or formula 1 and no judo and triathlon disciplines attract more audience and monopolize the headlines of the sports press. That's where the strength of eSports, more popular than many imagine industry is. And there is a 2.0 version of beers at the bar watching Sunday's game: the living room of a house where several friends gather to watch a competition game on a connected television to the Internet to look surprised parents who they begin to know the name of the teams.
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These spectators, still young, most of them amateur players, someday will also become parents and continue cheering their favorite players at the screen with her children. According to a study Newzoo, eSports could eventually raise more than the Super Bowl in the next decade and exceed income Champions League football in just five years.
Competitions that fill stadiums
Video game competitions are eminently online, making her much more popularizable and internacionalizable than traditional sports practice. Simply an Internet connection for the video game Real Madrid faces Bayern Munich for the European Championship without the players to move from their homes. A game of football league needs linked to logistical deployment facilities, displacement and other physical expenses. However, as the popularity of eSports increases, it is increasingly common for major competitions are developed in person the image and likeness of traditional sports.
The paradigmatic example is, once more, League of Legends. The ten teams that European league championship are played face every week to the audience in a stadium in Germany. Best, will travel to the Club World Cup, a competition that in previous years has hung the sign "Tickets sold out" in stadiums like the Staples Center, home of the Lakers and Clippers of the NBA, or the Seoul World Cup Stadium, which He hosted the World Cup in Korea / Japan in 2002.
spectacular television broadcasts
Millions of spectators attend daily broadcasts via Internet video game competitions. These figures have not gone unnoticed by advertisers who seek to gradually enter the industry. So now the games are getting closer to the mainstream media and traditional television. A channel that, despite not being their natural environment, may hold the key to accelerate the standardization process.
Not all video games are eSports
There is a reductionist argument which tends to signal a any game (Super Mario Bros.) and negatively compared to a sport (football) to justify that video games can not be sport. Crass error that does not account for the eSports, by themselves, are a distinguishing feature of the narrative medium of video games.
Currently there is only a dozen games that can be considered as eSports (League of Legends, StarCraft, Dota, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, Hearthstone, Street Fighter, Smash Bros., Worlf of Tanks ...) and they all have share a number of common features, in general, they are:
- The game allows the confrontation between two or more players competing on an equal footing and whose victory is determined by its tactical or strategic skill.
- Existence of official leagues and competitions with rules, teams and professional players.
- Thousands of fans who play for fun and / or follow the competitions becoming consumers of broadcasting and media coverage of competitions.
- Media rebroadcast competitions and come into the information demand by the public.
- A parallel advertising market industry funding and sponsors clubs and competitions (most are free eSports games).
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The sport of XXI century
ESports are here to stay. Every month the numbers increase and their records fall. The number of spectators, players, teams, organizations and competitions still rising and consolidation of a growing industry is just around the corner. The show has only just begun.