How eSports became more mainstream

How eSports became more mainstream


Ten years ago, about stories Starcraft In South Korea, tournaments that filled stadiums were more than legendary. Stories to tell your friends and family who don’t understand how fun competitive gaming is. Now, this weekend, fighting game fans will fill the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay in Vegas for this year’s Evolution Championship Series, or EVO. League of Legends events sell out places every weekend in Europe. In the year In 2022, sports are very common. They are in the same conversation as conventional sports as competitive experiences and must-see events. How did we get here?

Cooperation with traditional sports

Esports have made some important partnerships over the past ten years. This pair helped legitimize competitive games in the eyes of casual observers. Many esports leagues have benefited from direct partnerships with their respective sports leagues. NBA 2K League is a perfect example of this. Most of the NBA 2K League’s 25 teams are directly affiliated with NBA franchises. All three major tournaments are held near Indianapolis, Indiana, where the Pacers play their home games. Getting the NBA’s endorsement brings both more prize money, which encourages more players to compete, and better publicity, which brings new eyes to the brand.

ESPN, a sports media hub, From 2016 until the start of the pandemic 2020, it dipped its toe into esports coverage. This means that suddenly, Fun esports tournaments It was featured on the same website, which calls itself the “Global Sports Leader”. This gave esports more mainstream coverage. ESPN has broadcast several events on live television, including the EVO Fight Game tournament. Sure, you can take to Twitter to complain that ESPN isn’t showing “real sports,” but that’s also got people interested in enjoying competitive gaming. This exposure has benefited many different types of esports.

College support

Another important sporting institution has stepped up its support for sports: college. Over the past few years, more colleges have begun offering scholarship programs for competitive sports. Despite occasional interference from developers, college esports leagues have thrived. Breaking ties with the NCAA means a small college can field a strong esports team. If you want to attend a traditional Division I school, colleges like Maryland, Georgia State and Boise State also offer esports scholarships.

Money is an effective form of participation.

In the year In 2021, the DOTA 2 Championship, The International, offered a prize pot of $40 million. Some of this money comes from sponsors, but most of it is crowdfunding. This is an increasingly popular way to raise prize pools for large esports events. In this way, spectators and casual fans can feel a kind of direct participation in the event. Often these events raise money in the form of merchandise sales, which give fans a greater sense of support for their favorite teams and events. In other sports, the money goes toward voting certain players into invitation-only events. Fans of high-profile players work together to raise funds to ensure their favorites make it to the big stage.

Esports have joined traditional sports in benefiting from recent changes in online gambling laws. Want to invest in a match you know little about? Put money on it. Suddenly, the fighting game collection has an obvious popularity. While casinos were introduced New casino gamesBetting websites, sometimes fueled by video games, have started offering bets on esports events. The growing number of passionate esports fans has led to these sites. Improve the overall security of their systems. Of course, people should be careful when placing bets; If you find yourself having trouble knowing when to stop, that’s it. It is important to seek help.

Sometimes natural growth is enough.

Not every video game community has benefited from direct partnerships with large corporations. Ten years ago, most competitive games were struggling with lack of recognition from game developers. This was not enough to stop those community members from holding their own events. Esports communities like the Super Smash Bros. community thrive solely on events hosted by community members on a regular basis. This isn’t the fastest way to get growth or mainstream acceptance, but it is it is. Consistent.

With each new Super Smash Bros. title released, more and more new young players were able to play it for the first time. Each time, there was a network of competitive events to discover and experience. Events that previously hosted 10 players can now host hundreds. Some of the players who have organized these tournaments have officially sponsored larger events that compete with esports. Sometimes, the best way to increase your curb appeal is to work hard over a long period of time. Who knew?

In the past, the discussion surrounding sports often focused on whether or not competitive play was a “real sport.” Now eSports has gained enough mainstream support to stand on its own. There are no signs of this slowing down. It will be interesting to see how esports continues to grow in the mainstream.

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