A decade ago no one would have ever believed me if I were to say that video-games would become a sport with millions of fans all over the world tuning into watch competitions broadcast online every week. E-sports, as they are called, has absolutely exploded in the last five years.
Scenes that used to be niche have now become mainstream in the gaming community. Blizzard Entertainment’s Starcraft no longer dominates the e-sports scene as the only game to put up thousands of viewers regularly. Halo, Call of Duty, Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom, World of Tanks…. The list of competitive professionally played games goes on. Players are paid healthy salaries just as the average athlete is for his or her sport.
The industry is growing faster than anyone can imagine. Evolution Gaming, the largest annual fighting game tournament in the world, had record numbers of participants, viewers and attendees. Riot Gaming’s League of Legends continues to break records for online viewership and live show attendees. Their world championship show recently sold out the Staples Center in LA, a place generally known to only sell out to the likes of Justin Timberlake and Usher.
South Korea has a billion dollar e-sports industry already grounded in its country and the culture behind it is astounding. Pursuing a career as a professional video-game player isn’t just a dream over there. It’s realistic. As America plays catch-up we’ll see a growing infrastructure for e-sports and an entirely new job sector spring up rapidly.
If you don’t know anything about the e-sports scene yet then you’re way behind one of the fastest growing industries in the world right now, but it’s not too late. There are some good places to look for blogs on the subject below. Inform yourself and join the future of sports.