TheDevelopment of esports since 2001
ESportingisslowly taking charge of the entertainment. Favored for itinteractiveness and escape from reality, esporting has seen such atremendous growth, which touches all the sectors involved in thesport. Game developers, consoles used in the sport as well as fans orusers have all increased simultaneously. As a result various aspectsof the world have been affected, either directly or indirectly. Thispaper explores the esporting industry since inception, whilelaser-like focus being on the development of eSports since thebeginning of the 21stcentury.
Esporting,or electronic sporting refers to computer or console gaming. Thiskind of gaming involves video games, which opponents play at amateuror professional standards. These games often require an internetconnection, which acts as a medium for opponents and spectators toengage directly. Early eSports saw players engage in arcade gamessuch as Pong, which was the first game of its kind, made by Atari andreleased in 1972. Technological advancements have seen a tremendousgrowth in this industry. Gaming giants such as EA Sports and Rockstargames have seen an increase in customers due to their constantincrease in gaming technology. Arcade games have now been replaced bybetter and more engaging games, which player can now play from homecomputers. Two-dimensional gaming has also been replaced mythree-dimensional gaming, with graphics being clearer, of higherdefinition and giving a better feeling of realness. Also, the rise ofhand-held devices has also seen an increase in eSport gamers. Gamingapplications are on the rise, where every software developer seeks tomake a better and more engaging gaming application. Usually, themobile phone eSport applications experience a wave of fame due tochange of trends and sharing of high scores on social media.
Sincetheir establishment, these kinds of games have been used a means toescape reality and get into a virtual world, where one can have manydifferent experiences. These experiences revolve around racing andengaging enemies in shootouts or ‘physical’ warfare. The numberof people participating in these sports has seen a massive grow since2001 due to the high access of computer devices. This rise has alsoseen the acceptance of this sport as top-ranked competitions, wherecompetitors and spectators can now meet in large arenas or even playfrom different places connected and engaging through an internetconnection.
Thesport, which is also a job for others, sees the opponents bagginghome huge cash pays. In 2012, there was a tremendous tournament forThe International, which had the largest award amount in historyseeing a massive $1, 600, 000. These games are usually supported andsponsored by company giants such as Intel, EA, Red Bull, amongothers. These professional games are often played on PC peripherals,which may be provided by individual event sponsors.
Ona different level, amateurs and professionals may also participate ineSporting in gatherings with the intentions of engaging each othertogether through a Local Area Network compatible with the differentdevices. These gatherings are commonly referred to as LAN parties.
Theinception of eSports has had a tremendous impact in the gamingindustry. The Sporting has now been accepted as a sporting activity.Gamers from various parts of the world can now interact and havegaming sessions together. This has increased social interaction andpromoted goodwill between individuals from different regions of thewords. The platform is also a cheaper way in which people ‘meet’and interact, contrary to physical sporting events like Olympics,which not everyone can afford to attend physically.
Esportingalso acts as a means of entertainment. Players can spend theirleisure activities on a computer to get immersed into a virtualworld. Most of the games are broken down into levels, with the levelof difficulty gradually increasing. This usually makes the games moreinteresting and thrilling. The level advancements can be saved ontophysical or cloud-based drives. This makes it possible for theplayers to continue off with they left off.
TheSporting has also contributed to the growth of the economic sector.Players participating in regional or global eSporting who performwell are rewarded, with cash of gift prices. This has seen the use ofthis platform as an economic activity. Huge companies offersponsorships to this event and also take part in awarding players.The companies even go further to sponsor the real physical games, forexample, EA Sports announced a partnership with the French FootballLeague in October 2016 [ CITATION Ada16 l 1033 ].Gaming studios have also contributed to the economic advantages ofeSporting.People open studios and provide the consoles on which players pay togame on these devices. A common game that is played the most ingaming studios is football (FIFA), where industries such as EA Sportsgame enjoys the most preference. Passionate players even go to theextent of making mini leagues.
Still,on the economics of eSporting, game development has seen a massiveinflux of developers, which pays very well. Game developers have abroad range of platforms to apply the skills on. These platformsinclude smartphone games, which also offer a wider scope in itself,given the different platforms that smartphones operate on such asAndroid, iOS or Windows. Computer games also, similarly, offer a widerange of options for game developers. Major platforms that areemployed by home computers are Window and Mac platforms. These gamesare usually released for sale or sometimes released for free, wheredevelopers rely on donations, the sale of software registration keysor advertisements which are infused in gameplay.
ESportinghas made it possible for people with disabilities to engage insporting activities virtually. This platform creates an opportunitywhere anyone can participate in the sport and even compete. Thesporting offers an equally entertaining thrill as physical games,especially due to the improvements I graphical display and analmost–realistic engagement of the sporting characters. Due to oldage, physical traits also begin to fade off. The experience that onehas gained in various industries can, therefore, be applied intoeSporting, and therefore, players can once again participating ingaming activities.
Thegrowth of eSporting.
Overthe past decade, eSports has seen rapid advancements. This can beattributed to a combination of technological growth as well as thegrowth of game developers, which can be attributed the tendency tomatch competition, especially after new releases. The advancement ofthe internet is also an important factor that has led to the growthof eSports industries. Internet speeds have seen an upward growth,which supports the massive bandwidths that are required to downloadand play games online.
Free-to-playreleases also have contributed to the growth of eSports, since anyonecan get access to these interactive video games and engage incompetitive gaming. Free-to-play games also help in reducing piracy,which game developers struggle hard to overcome (Taylor).
Theearliest eSports competitions took place in 1972 at StanfordUniversity, California. Competitors met to play Space War, which wasa space combat game made ten years before by game developer andpublisher, Steve Russell. Winners in the competitions were awarded. The game was later improved and came to be first computer game whichcould be played after numerous installations (Owen). Later, in 1980,competitions, held by Atari, which was graced by attendance by morethan 10,000 participants took place. Numerous competitions followedafter, with big companies popularizing the art by featuring them inpopular magazines and websites Records and high scores also gotregistered in the Guinness Book of World Records, which positivelyimproved the perspective in which people viewed video game. The1980s, also saw tournaments involving video games being televised andwere also featured in films, as was the case with Tron, a 1982science-fiction movie produced by Walt Disney Productions.
Inthe 1990s internet connectivity boosted the development of many PCvideo games. Open source software also promoted the evolution ofthese games, with most of them allowing for cross-platform use. As aresult, competitive gaming increased and true online competitionswere held. Unlike the present, teenagers and children also had a slotin the competition. Companies like Nintendo also began sponsoringglobal eSport championships. In 1997, major leagues such as theCyberathlete Professional Leagues took place with winners beingprized as much as $15,000. Many leagues were also founded during thesame period. In the late 90s, eSports was favored by the release ofReal-time strategy games. Released in 1998, StarCraft:Brood War,was a major hit. The game was a military science fiction, whichrequired fast reflexes, planning, and careful maneuvering. The gameswere attributed to a balance of races and advanced artificialintelligence, where characters had unique abilities. In 2000, thegame achieved the peak of its popularity.
Thenew millennium saw the biggest growth of eSports, with the launch ofmajor international tournaments such as the Electronics Sports WorldCup and the Major League Gaming (MLG). The MLG was initiated in 2001 and has since been held annually, significantly raising the bar foreSporting activities. The MLG featured many games in a wide scope ofgenres and is mainly held online. In 2012, the MLG had viewersamounting to more than four million, which was more than what somereal sporting events get.
SouthKorea is believed to be very influential in the growth on eSport.South Korea, due to the 1997 Asian economic crisis, saw the buildingof broadband internet systems. The high unemployment rate experiencedthen is also thought to be a factor that led to the tremendous growthof eSporting, where people sought to look for engaging activitiesbesides work. LAN Gaming centers were built, and the government evenmade the Korean e-Sports Association in 2000 to regulate thesporting. South Korea boast the Global StarCraft II League (GSL),which is debatably considered the peak of Real-Time-Strategy gaming.The league boasts of global viewers who amount to more than fiftymillion in numbers. Higher numbers are expected, should the leaguemaintain its trend (Jin).
Relativelynew in the eSport industry is Multiplayer Online Battle Arena genre.It is a subgenre of Real-Time-Strategy (RTS) genre and quicklyemerging in the eSport world. Games in this genre where eachcharacter is against all others in an enclosed space, thus the termarena. Each player is, therefore, independent as the main mission isto destroy the opponent’s or enemy’s base. The team`s abilitiesinfluence the team`s general strategy. These abilities are acquiredduring game play assisted by automatic units infused with the game’ssystem (Seo)
Gamesin this genre share a couple of characteristics. Among them aregraphical characteristics such as the Top-Down Perspective. Thisrefers to an overhead perspective, which is an elevated viewpoint.The games also involve a lot of multiplayer co-operation since mostof them involved two teams with each having 2-6 players. Players alsoenjoy the advantage of having multiple lives, where thy keep revivingthemselves and continue with the gameplay. Players, however, need tohave accumulated resources to keep respawning. These resourcesgenerate themselves automatically during game play.The games are alsocharacterized by a specific match length and are usually relativelylonger, taking an hour or more. The games also integrate onlinegaming, where an online player can play against an offline player.
Thefuture of gaming will see to an increase in the quality of games andfans. Though eSports have not achieved success in integration intoconventional learning, the phenomenal is growing fast and will soonbe a part of the mainstream culture. The popularity of eSportsleagues is growing each year tremendously. The prize pools are alsoincreasing. This will also mean that the quality of games producedwill also increase significantly.
TheBusiness of eSports and Comparison to Early Successes of Poker
Gamingcompetitions are no longer the same old friendly events, wherewinners would only acquire bragging rights due to their portrayedskills. These sports have now grown into an arm of their own. Various Universities, such as the University of Nevada have nowintegrated eSports into their curriculum and are offering eSportscourses. However, students will be devising business plans that areapplicable in the casino industry [ CITATION Dar15 l 1033 ].This a huge step in integrating esports into viable businesses. Theindustry also has fluidity and is expected to grow tremendously inthe future.
Theindustry is being taken more seriously, with major companies seekingto reap big from the industry. Brands such as Red Bull, Coca-colahave seen greats benefits, attributed to their early entrance in theindustry. The analysis estimates that in 2016, the overly growth isprojected to rise by 43%. This is from $325 million in value to $463million. People are also embracing esport in a welcoming way. Surveyshows that 40% of China’s population have at least attended aneSport event. In comparison to games like poker, eSports have theability to reach a large number of people globally, thanks toimproved internet connectivity. Mediums, where people can also streameSport events such as Twitch, are also on the rise. These mediumsalso provide for communication between spectators. This is an addedadvantage over poker competitions in which spectators would notcommunicate to each other whenever these events were televised(Heitner).
Esportsare also seeing the integration of betting activities. Spectatorscan now place bets depending on the outcomes that they expect.Fantasy esporting is also a possibility that would arise. Esports,therefore, seem to be catching up with poker and is showing verypositive possibilities of emulating poker’s success and only timestands between this. A report by ElectronicEntertainment Design and Research indicates that on average, 36-42%of gamers are likely to attend future events. The research alsoshowed that about 33% of viewer have at one time made purchases ofin-game items and 20% have bought tickets o this environment. Thisshows the significant growth in the industry (Heitner).Drawbacksof Esports. Esports,like any other kind of sport, have significant drawbacks that affectits users. Among the most notable is the lack of availability of thehardware and software that are required to make the sportingpossible. Most of these resources need to be high end to enablesmooth gaming of the participants. Most people often find itdifficult to balance the expenditure on these items and spendingmoney on the basic and other necessities. The sporting also requiresstrong internet connection due to the high bandwidths that areassociated with the gaming activities. Access to the internet islimited to many people, given factors such as geographic location andadvancement in technology. Varioushealth issues have been associated with eSporting. The sporting doesnot involve any physical activities and is thus criticized for makingplayers unfit. However, the growth of the esporting activity has seenthe incorporation of motion-sensing gaming consoles, which ould helpin suppressing this drawback. The sporting also entails too muchthumb and wrist use and use of screens, which has been attributed tocausing injuries to the wrist and fingers as well as causing eyestrains, respectively. The sporting has also been attributed toRepetitive strain injury, which is an injury of the nervous andmusculoskeletal systems, caused by forceful exertions and repetitivemovements of body parts. Esportinghas also been attributed to isolation and a causative of poorinteractions. This is because players often isolate themselves toplay computer games, in which some are created only with single-useroptions. The games can also take an awful lot of time, which adds onto the isolation of a player from family and friends. The hugeamounts of time can arguably be viewed as a waste of time since onewould be doing different activities which would be more productive. Esportingmay also not be a well-organized sport in many regions. This,therefore, means that not everyone who practices is eSports would bepaid. In fact, it takes a lot for one to read pro levels, where oneis paid to engage in esports. It is also very hard to balance thehuge amounts of time required to participate in the sporting withsmall payouts (if they exist). The choice of games is also relativeand always seem to flow with a particular group of people. Manyof the esporting activities also involve violence, which may exert anegative influence participants. The games involved may also involvea lot of obscenity which may have negative effects on one’s morals(Khoo265).Conclusion Theinception of esportng cannot be broken down into a right or wrongactivity. Though everyone may have their perspective, esporting ishere to stay and will not be ending anytime soon. Traditions are ahuge part of man’s life but holding on to these traditions andevading progress without any reasonable reason is illogical, andunwise. It is for this reason that it is only reasonable to embracethe sport and get the best out of it. Esporting is a thrillinginvention, which everyone will soon be a part of.
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