A brief history of Esports

What is Esports?

Esports has been around for many years now. It is the art of competitive video gaming. No matter how you spell it or say it. Everyone seems to know what you’re talking about. They may even have a favourite team that they support.

But where did it all start?

Did the developer of CSGO just decide one day to host a big tournament? Or did it start in some kid’s basement?

Well, turns out the first-ever Esports tournament took place way back in the ’70s at Standford University. Where the prize was a magazine subscription. Crazy hey? A person would not think that competitive video competitions have been around for that long.

But where did it really start?

According to Wikipedia, Esports started in the ’80s. ” The Space Invaders Championship that held by Atari in 1980, was the earliest largest scale video game competition. Attracting more than 10,000 participants across the United States. Establishing competitive gaming as a mainstream hobby.”

During that time period, televised esports events started appearing. Like for example the American show Starcade which ran from 1982–1984 airing a total of 133 episodes. Where contestants would attempt to beat each other’s high scores on an arcade game. A video game tournament was included as part of the TV show That’s Incredible, and tournaments were also featured as part of the plot of various films, including 1982’s Tron.

But what truly made Esports so big? How did it attract so many players, from more then just the USA?

According to IronSource ”  Developers realized the potential of Esports and started getting more involved. Which has led to more money, better broadcasts, and higher production values. In turn, live streaming started to become increasingly more popular through platforms like Twitch, allowing gamers across the world to bring in steady incomes.”

What is the value of Esports and video game industry?

They say that Esports earned about $1.5Bn in revenues in 2017, according to market researcher SuperData Research, and is expected to grow 26% by 2021. This revenue is made up of large investments from major companies and celebrities including Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Alex Rodriguez, Steve Aoki, and Rick Fox, (all of whom currently own stakes in eSports teams), sponsorship, prize money, in-game items, and physical merchandise. As players and teams produce a lot of content that can be distributed through streaming communities (like Twitch). Esports also provide an ideal real estate for advertisers and brands. Additionally, just like athletic sports – sponsors will advertise their brands on players’ jerseys, contributing a substantial portion of the overall profit.

Esports has a complex history to say, from a small event at a university to massive LAN events. We can all say for sure that Esports is now bigger than the music industry. An article on CISION stated the following ” The Esports and video gaming market have already outpaced their contemporaries in the film and music businesses with what is expected to be a $300 billion annual industry by 2025.”

So yeah video gaming can make you money and it is a real job. Provided you got the talent and the right team.

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