This past summer, the EA Madden NFL Tournament was hosted in Jacksonville, FL. At that tournament, a sore loser took the lives of three people and shot another 11 innocent-bystanders, before taking his own life. The shooter was a competitor that lost during the first day of the competition and was subsequently asked to leave. The shooting was the first incidence of eSports having “gone bad”; reported on a national-level. Having drawn the public’s attention, many individuals are left wondering what eSports even are.
What is eSports?
eSports started out to connect gamers. In its earliest forms, eSports players could invite fellow-players to join a game, allow others to view (or view others playing games), all while communicating via headsets. As eSports has grown in popularity, so has the competition. Streaming services now allow for larger audiences and easier accessibility. eSports has evolved into a money-making industry – even a career for many.
Who Plays eSports?
An estimated 380 million viewers watch eSports, per year. 165 million of those viewers can be described as enthusiasts, which means they are dedicated-watchers. 64% of eSports players are male. Most eSports viewers are in North America, China and South Korea.
What are some of the common eSports games played?
Often, the most popular games mimic the professional sports world. Several other games allow tournament and collaborative- capabilities. Some of the most popular eSports played are:
1) Madden (Football)
2) FIFA (Soccer)
3) NBA2K (Basketball)
5) Call of Duty
How to break into eSports
If you’re a player that’s looking to get serious about your gaming, there’s ways to get into the pro-world. First, perfect your gaming; practice and gear up. Next, join gaming communities. Once you’ve become part of a dedicated community, its time to find a team to join. Once you’re confident in your gaming abilities, you can enter tournaments. Generally, the better you become as a player, the larger the tournament you will participate in.
Money, Money, Money
Simply put, eSports is a billion-dollar, competitive, video game-playing industry. Gamers play organized games; aiming to win. This often resulting in huge financial-gains. It’s estimated that $906 million was made in eSports revenue, in 2018. The world’s top eSports players boast an income in the seven-digits. With that kind of serious cash, some might winder: where does the money come from?
Well, it comes from the video games producers and companies… but they’re making a ton. The Madden franchise – the company that sponsored the 2018 Madden Tournament in Jacksonville, FL, in which a fatal shooting occurred - made over $4 million from its eSports events in 2018. The infamous League of Legends tournaments boasted $5.5 million in sales from its 2017 tournament.