Esports

Daniel Simon

During the 2015 League of Legends World Championship, SKTelecom T1 (SKT) ruthlessly pummeled its competition all the way until Game 3 of the finals. While most of their games involved SKT getting more kills than the enemy team, they lost the game finishing with only 13 kills compared to their oppositions 29, and zero epic monster boosts to 5. By losing that one game, all hopes of a perfect world championship was lost as well. But in game 4, SKT won, thus ending the World Championship and becoming the first ever two-time World champions in League of Legends.

Though some people say that playing video games is a waste of time, esports (televised or streamed video games) has been growing for the past several years, and will only continue to grow. With the way that the world is becoming more technologically advanced, regular sports (i.e soccer, football, basketball) will become less appreciated, while esports will get into national television and attract more viewers than ever before. Nations, like France, are beginning to see how they can make esports more like sports.

For a few decades now, the genre of esports has been only climbing in terms of viewership and tournament prizes. But this wasn’t always this way . In the 1980s, the sport was beginning to pick up steam with some new tournaments. In the 1990s and 2000s, the use of internet and the PC boosted tournaments as new titles such as Starcraft 2, DoTA2, and League of Legends. Starcraft 2 established the RTS (these are 4 X games where you eXplore the surrounding area or map, eXpand your sphere of influence, eXploit your enemies, then eXterminate them) genre in esports. DoTA2 and League of Legends both established the presence of MoBA games (MoBA is in its most basic form capture-the-flag, but it is much more complex than what those three words give the impression of).

Like most sports, esports teams look for the best talent available and the indicator points (more often than not) to Asian and European countries. For the typical Asian gamer, they wake up at 5 AM and spend until 2 AM playing their primary video games until they understand it like the back of their hand. In South Korea, 2 teams have 3 League World Championship trophies out of 5. The other two trophies went to a European team and a Taiwanese team. This “trend” is not limited to only League; Chinese teams won two out of five trophies in the yearly DoTA 2 tournament. South Korean players have won the every Starcraft 2 tournament since Blizzard began having them in 2012.

But, other video games, such as the Halo games (a science-fiction, First-Person-Shooter game), have experienced a renaissance and, in 2016, the first ever Halo World Championship was played in Hollywood, California.

Esports is relatively unknown to the broader public. Most people think that videogames are for the birds and it can never be an effective career. But then again, they do not have all of the statistics or facts to go on. Like “real” sports teams, esports teams sign their members to contracts, find sponsors, and try to establish themselves as the best team. In South Korea, esports actually receives air time, and sponsors like Coke and Samsung give support.

 

 

 

This does not look finished to me! Why were you playing games today?

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