What is “eSports” today?

          ESports, or electronic sports, is a neatly organized and interactive video game competition which often incorporates professionals in their respective video game.   I chose to follow this topic because of a discussion about occupations that do not require attendance of a college and I jokingly said “pro-gaming” without having knowledge of this field.  After reading a couple of articles and forums, playing a video game as a job promotes stress and anxiety.  Being stuck in a room with a group of other people playing a video game for about 8 hours for practice everyday sounds rather tedious and boring.  On top of that, these professional players have to play in front of a large audience and online viewers; these players are open to harsh criticism and hate.  ESports as a whole has been rapidly growing and becoming quite prominent especially in North America. During the 90’s gaming tournaments have been becoming rather mainstream; popular video game companies such as “Nintendo” have been holding tournaments with an extensive prize pool.  However, arguably the real breakthrough of eSports began with the release of popular video game, “League of Legends.”

Team "Ninjas in Pyjamas"

Swedish team “Ninjas in Pajamas” winning major CS:GO tournament ESL Cologne and prize of $100,000 USD.

Dota 2- “Newbee” Chinese team winning the Dota 2 “The International 2014” and a prize of $5,000,000 USD.

League of Legends Korean team “SK Telecom T1” winning the Riot Season 2013 World Championship and taking home a prize of $1,000,000 USD.

 League of Legends 

10/27/09 officially marks the launch of the Riot’s now popular game, League of Legends, which emerged as the most played video game at the beginning of 2012.  Over the course of the 5 year period, eSports has really been broken out and mainly centering this singular game.  During this 5 year time period, there has been 3 major World Championship tournaments that includes the best teams out of the following regions: North America, Europe, and Asia.  The Season 2011 World Champions featured the first generations of professional players from these three regions and peaked 1.6 million viewers (over 210,000 concurrent views) and a prize pool of $100,000 USD.  The Season 2 World Champions featured teams from North America, Europe, South East Asia, Mainland China, and Taiwan/Hong Kong.  There was of course an influx of a prize pool with the amass amount of $2,000,000 USD and at most drew 8.2 million viewers (1.1 million simultaneous views).  The Season 3 World Champions is by far the most competitive and entertaining out of the 3 tournaments by far.  With a prize pool of $2,000,000 USD, this tournament featured an additional Wild Card team for the purpose of endorsing more players from around the world.  This specific tournament gathers over 32 million viewers and about 8.5 million viewers during the finals alone.  Obviously the increase of viewers and publicity already depicts the popularity of this specific game alone.  No video game has ever peaked such a feat until now.

The Season 3 World Championship Finals at LA Staple Center

Season 2014 World Championships 

The Season 2014 World Championships group stages have begun and ended (9/18 ~ 9/28) and has been played in Taipei, Taiwan and Singapore.  The quarter finals will start in approximately 6 hours from this current time (currently 7:14) in South Korea, Busan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s3NHMFbHFg <—— Hype video made by Korean Riot Games featuring the Western and Asian scenes.  They are saying the names of every professional player that has currently made it to the quarter finals.