Today’s gaming industry is vastly different from the previous five to seven years. Traditional gaming gave way to arcade gaming, which gave way to home video gaming. But these days, video games are most famous and entertaining everywhere.
What distinguishes video games is their competitive nature and professional-level gaming. In the beginning, eSports were played just for fun, but now professional players make thousands of dollars playing these games. According to Business Insider, eSport is a sector that is anticipated to reach $1.5 billion in 2023.
So, let’s go back in time and understand the evolution of eSports.
What is eSports?
The term “electronic sports,” often known as “eSports,” was first used to describe video games in 1971. The tournament and gameplay structure was created with traditional games in mind. In the past few years, video games have become an entertainment medium and attracted most teenage boys.
Due to its rising prominence, competitive games were introduced in the eSports industry, in which professional players contest alone or with teams. According to statistics, approximately 495 million people play eSports, with 272 million being regular or professional players and 223 million visiting occasionally.
For more information, look at the history and evolution of eSports.
History Of eSports
The era of eSports started in 1950 when Mr. Alexander Shafto “Sandy” Douglas turned the board game XOX into the first-ever graphical computer game. Following this, in 1958, the first multiplayer game called “Tennis for Two” was introduced by scientist William Higinbotham.
Arcade games also contributed to the introduction of digital gaming to the general public in 1970. Coin-operated devices and arcade games were erected in public spaces, including restaurants and theme parks. Even today, there are many places around the world where you can play video games on coin-operated machines.
It is stated that the first event of the video game was held at Stanford University. In this event, students from different academic fields competed in a game of Space Spacewar. It was not an official eSports event, but it was unquestionably the start of something new in the gaming industry.
When this event was held, there was no prize money. At this historical event, however, they received a free subscription to Rolling Stone magazine. And the result of this event was that the gaming industry organized the first legitimate competition in video games (the Space Invader Championship) in 1980.
More than 10,000 players participated in this event, making it the first hefty video gaming competition in history. This massive number of participants introduces the world of competitive gaming to the public. The popularity of eSports games began to rise due to this event.
The following year, Twin Galaxies hosted another significant competitive gaming competition. It was developed by the Walter Day organization, which also maintained track of the top scorers worldwide. In Twin Galaxies, players worldwide compete to outscore one another and claim the top-five scoring spot.
People loved video games to the point of insanity. It eventually, albeit slowly, made its way onto TV channels. Numerous live performances featured mini-competitions where players competed for the most significant scores. Cash prizes or gift baskets were on the table for them. And many people watched these contests while enjoying their afternoons worldwide, but mainly in the US.
Evolution of eSports in the 21st Century
As eSports grew in popularity, the eSports industry and contests became a global phenomenon. A large number of TV stations have been developed to broadcast eSports competitions. It is now possible for professional gamers to earn a living off gaming due to the dramatic increase in contests and prize money. Around a dozen gaming competitions were held globally in 2000; by 2010, that number had multiplied by 20.
The advent of Twitch and YouTube in 2011 sparked the change that the gaming industry had been waiting for. Twitch allowed gamers to stream their gameplay live globally and for gaming competitions to be aired online. Twitch helped the economy’s eSports (online gaming) sector develop to previously unheard-of levels.
The number of competitions, players, and fans that like watching the sport increased surprisingly over time after Twitch’s inception. The late 2000s and the first few years after Twitch’s debut in 2011 were the formative years for the video gaming industry, now known as the eSports industry.
What Are some of the Most Popular eSports Games?
Take a look at the most popular games in eSports:
- DOTA 2
- Rainbow Six Siege
- Modern Warfare
- League of Legends
- Global Offensive
- Rocket League
The gaming industry has changed over the past five to seven years from being a social event in which groups of players competed in video games to becoming the eSports sector that we are familiar with today. The exponential rise of eSports over the past 20 years is outstanding and shows no signs of stopping. Every day, the industry is expanding dramatically.
2.69 billion People play video games worldwide, and Statista estimates that number will rise to 3.07 billion by the year 2023. Hence, eSports is a promising industry that is attracting investments from businesses all over the world.