Exploring The Ever-rising Popularity Of Esports Around The World

Esports – The Rising Star In World Sports Entertainment

Esports, also spelled “eSports” or “e-Sports”, and known as electronic sports, egames, or competitive professional gaming, has gone through a remarkable growth spurt over the years. 

Today, teams of professional gamers from all around the world are competing in tournaments for prestigious titles as well as whopping cash prizes. However, convincing the world to take it seriously, and to accept it as an actual sport, has taken longer than many realise.

A Brief History of Esports

The very first instance of a computer game tournament dates back to Cambridge University, in the early 1950s. A computer scientist named Alexander Shafto Douglas created the first competitive digital game, called “XOX” for his doctoral thesis, and so it began. 

Later on, over the 70s and 80s, a massive boom in the popularity of video arcade games saw many of the first official tournaments and professional gamers beginning to become established. 

Over the 1990s, with PC games, and early multiplayer games like Doom, Quake, and Unreal Tournament becoming popular, tournaments and competitions saw a huge surge in popularity. Teams of professional gamers began meeting at the big events, often with thousands of spectators coming to watch.  However, even as the 90s drew to a close, and the new millennium began, it was still only the most avid computer and console video game geeks that generally cared for such things, or even knew of them.

In the 2000s, new and improving digital technologies began pushing gaming to ever greater heights of success. With the burgeoning internet steadily connecting the world and allowing news of such events to be shared more freely than ever before, esports truly began to take off.

Since then, some twenty years later, the continued boom in gaming and esports has been likened to a modern-day gold rush. 

What Are The Biggest Esports Played Today?

Over the past decade, the highest echelons of esports have been dominated by a handful of major games, with a few new competitors joining the list in recent years. 

The following list of esports games is ranked by prize money, and includes:

  • DOTA 2 – peaks at around 15 million viewers and has around 59 active teams. Its prize pool is at around $36 million and counting.
  • League Of Legends – peaks at 44 million viewers, with 24 teams competing for around $30 million in prize money.
  • Fortnite – Peaks at 2 million viewers, has around 40 million online competitors, and offers around $30 million in prize money.
  • Overwatch – Peaks at 300k viewers, with 20 teams, and $5 million in prize money.
  • PUBG – Peaks at 800k viewers, has 20 teams, and $2 million in prize money.
  • CS:GO – peaks at around 1.3 million viewers. It has 40+ competing teams and offers $1 million for the championship title.

A Growing Gaming Giant

Today, gaming alone has become a bustling billion-dollar industry, supplanting even Hollywood as the world’s number one supplier of entertainment. It’s as popular as Grand Rush Casino and offers endless action and excitement. 

By 2025, there is predicted to be over 300 million viewers watching esports on a daily basis. Millions more are expected to watch from on a more casual basis.