Electronic sports or eSports is one of the growing sporting businesses in the world especially in the Asian continent and in the U.S.A. There are other countries such as France, Brazil, Canada and South Africa who are a part of over 100 countries involved in the eSports industry. It is, of course, a sport but quite different from the traditional sports like basketball, football, Table Tennis or boxing. eSports is modelled on various video games and are usually played online. The nature of the sport is just a small part of the intriguing package that it comes with as we shall find out very soon.
Nature of the sport
eSports competitions are very well organized events just like traditional sports. While traditional sports have recognized tournaments like Fifa World Cup for football, U.S open for golf, Grand slam for tennis and many others, eSports also boasts of popular tournaments such as; DOTA 2, League of Legends, Call of Duty world league, Capcom Cup and so forth. Competitions or leagues in eSports are competed by individuals like that of the traditional tennis or golf. Some competitions or leagues are also competed by teams just as can be found in football or basketball. Video game genres such as real time strategy, first person shooter, fighting, multi-player online battle soccer games are the genres on which eSports is modelled. The events are usually organized in an arena or in front of a huge audience and also streamed online.
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Like many other physical sports, eSports has a very wide audience. There are dedicated sites like YouTube’s gaming channel or Twitch and in the early part of 2018 only, viewers around the globe had spent about 17.9 million hours watching eSports competitions and leagues. Viewers for eSports are categorized into two. There are viewers who have subscribed to various eSports streaming sites and are referred to as frequent viewers. There are also viewers who view the sport occasionally and are thus referred to as occasional viewers. About 58 million frequent viewers and occasional viewers watched eSports events in 2012. 2014 recorded 90 million for frequent viewers and 11 million viewers for occasional viewers. In 2015, 120 million viewers were recorded for frequent viewers while 11 was recorded for occasional viewers. The figures continue to grow and it is expected that 250 million will be recorded for frequent viewers and 30 million for occasional viewers by 2021. Compared to other traditional sports, the DOTA 2 league’s event in 2018 had a better view (15 million) than the U.S open (gulf) which had 9.1 and tour De France which had 7.3 viewership.