When I first read about the rise of e-sports on NJgames, I laughed it off. The whole concept made no sense to me: people paying good money to watch others play games. And gamers getting paid to play said games. For a self-confessed nerd like me, this made no sense whatsoever. Why watch someone play instead of playing yourself?
Which only proves how out of tune I’m getting as I get older, I guess. Don’t believe me? Let’s start with my friend, Alex, whose 5-year-old’s favorite YouTube channel is that of a boy playing with his toys.
And let’s continue with some astonishing facts, like the $25 million prize offered by the most recent massive video game tournament, The International Dota 2 Championships (2018). Or the $360 million made by teams thanks to sponsorships and the 335 million viewers watching e-sports, only 40% of whom have actually ever played the game. Individual earnings can go as high up as $4 million; team ones up to $24 million, earned by Team Liquid across a staggering 1,403 tournaments.
Traditional sports are still the most popular when it comes to sports betting. E-sport isn’t doing that bad, though: in 2016, $5.5 billion dollars was wagered on major Esports titles. It’s estimated that this number will grow to a whopping $12.9 billion by 2021.
The most shocking fact, however, is that the International Olympic Committee is discussing introducing e-sports as a demonstration sport in 2024. Despite opposition, the 2022 Asian Games decided to opt-in e-sports as one of the competitive sports.
Who’s laughing now?
I agree with the comments by Peter Johnson. E sports are just another way to keep people sitting in chairs, becoming overweight and unfit. I can fathom the reasoning in skateboarding but I don’t care how much money is found in the E sports market, it is not ‘sport.” It is amusement.
It’s a game 🙂
My opinion is that including such ‘sports’ in the Olympics makes a mockery of the idea behind such competitions. Bad enough that they intend to include Skateboarding, and no doubt Break-Dancing will follow! 🙂
Best wishes, Pete.
Can’t say I disagree. At least, it’s just as a spectator sport, not a competitive one.