What are E-Sports, and Why do People Watch Them?

A competitive player at an E-Sports tournament.Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock

In the next few years, competitive gaming will become a multi-billion dollar industry, and it could even come to the Paris Olympics of 2024. But what are e-sports and why do people watch gaming tournaments rather than football games?

E-Sports can be any form of competitive play

From the outside, the world of competitive games seems to revolve around large-scale tournaments, with a strong focus on team games such as Fortnite, Counter-Strike or Overwatch. These tournaments usually take place in large arenas (sometimes dedicated play arenas), schools, arcades and bars. They are usually streamed via Twitch or YouTube, or are broadcast by a major network such as ESPN or the BBC.

But this is only the external view. As the bottom of an iceberg, the biggest sect of the competitive gaming community is hidden. There are thousands of small (not necessarily amateur) communities of competitive games. Some of them focus on digital card games like Hearthstone, others against fighters such as Mortal Kombat and Smash Brothers, and an even smaller group of players focuses on "speedruns." Some of these competitive players broadcast their games on Twitch or Youtube, while others simply communicate via Discord, a chat software.

Due to the variety of competitive games on the market and the accessibility of live streaming, it is difficult to understand or accurately define E-Sports. But one thing is certain: electronic sports are like "normal" sports.

Yes, e-sport is like the "real" sport

Most people see a clear distinction between the game and athletics. We believe that gambling is an unhealthy and antisocial habit – the opposite of sport. But unless you define sport as "something that happens outside", it's hard to find serious differences between "real" sport and E-Sport.

Like "real" athletes, competitive players must train regularly to stay in top form. They develop muscles in relation to the sport of their choice and must adopt a good posture to avoid injuries (carpal tunnel and arthritis). Surprisingly, some professional players are keen to strict diets and exercise regiments to keep their bodies at maximum efficiency.

A player controls a real football game with his Xbox controller.Sergey Nivens / Shutterstock

The world of e-sports is also incredibly social. Like football fans, fans of E-Sport develop close friendships, even if the game is their only common point. And because games are based on the Internet, many of these friendships are formed despite social, economic or physical limitations.

Not to mention the competitive game generates a ton of money. Internal business predicts that the competitive gaming market will be $ 1.5 billion by 2020, not counting money from competitive gaming equipment, such as computers and gaming keyboards. Sure, most NFL teams are worth twice as much as the entire e-sports market, but this gap will certainly shrink over time.

Do you have to accept competitive play as a "real" sport? Not really. There is a good chance that the general public will always make a distinction between sports and electronic sports, even though competitive play can be a sensation at a time. Paris Olympics of 2024. Hell, the Olympic Committee has recognized chess as a sport for two decades, and people still do not think of chess as a sport.

Competitive gaming address at all ages

We tend to think that video games are an activity for kids, which is not totally wrong. But the biggest games of the last decade, such as Minecraft and DOTA, have been successful because they attract all ages. Competitive play and traditional sports are successful for the same reason.

According to an ESPN survey, most competitive high-level players are in your twenties. And according to this poll, the best football, basketball, hockey and baseball players are also in their twenties.

Of course, we are talking about the best of the best. It is not uncommon for a traditional athlete to shine as a teenager or in his thirties or forties. And as the National Federation of High School Associations continues to develop e-sports teams in secondary schools, more and more children and adults will be involved in the competitive game scene

A team of children playing footballmatimix / Shutterstock

Think of it as baseball. A young baseball fan can keep pace with famous players, buy products and participate in baseball in moderation (or seriously) through a school program. A former baseball fan can play with friends, follow a team or play the role of a coach, a host, a sponsor or a business person. baseball.

In the end, one age group is useless without the other. In the absence of adult players, young players have nowhere to compete and no financial incentive to practice the game. But without young players, adults have nothing to watch, they invest their money. time and do not earn money.

Why not just play the game yourself?

There's nothing worse than sitting on a couch and watching your best friend play a game. That's why the eternal question about E-Sports (and the continuous gameplay in general) is this "Why do not you play the game instead of watching someone else play it?"

Of course, this leads to another question. "Why watch a football game when you can go out and play football?" It is impossible to find a solid and comprehensive answer. You may not be able to play a sport, or maybe you like to see the performance of professional players. Maybe there is no reason. Maybe you just like watching sports.

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