Competitive Gaming is on the rise. Gaming tournaments have scaled globally and it doesn’t seem like it is going anywhere anytime soon.
How did it happen?
Competitive gaming or “e-sports” isn’t new. It’s been around for a while, but it was never widely popular (at least in the US). In fact, the first known gaming tournament was back in 1972 for a game called “SpaceWar”. The grand prize? A year subscription to Rolling Stone Magazine. A prize fit for kings.
As the 90s arrived, competitive gaming had become popular and mainstream in the US. Nintendo held World Championships, and the US even had their own National Team that toured the country.
As the age of the internet arrived, other countries continue to develop e-sports—the US had slowed down with only a few tournaments around the US.
As time continued to pass by and the popularity of pro-gaming increased, so did the prize pools.
Nowadays, prizes are millions of dollars and many have made competitive gaming their career. However, these tournaments are widely known all around the world, while the US only has a select few.
What is happening now?
If you follow gaming, you will know that South Korea is the leader in e-sports in both e-athletes and following. The small country has 4 channels of TV dedicated to Starcraft matches, and in every tournament, stadiums are filled completely by fans of pro-gamers who are the equivalent of Hollywood stars here in the US.
But with the rise of people streaming games, and the commodity of being at home to watch these games, it appears that competitive gaming is becoming part of the US once again.
Just two years ago Gaming Starcraft II League(GSL), one of the biggest Starcraft Tournaments in South Korea brought their championship match to Blizzcon and streamed it around the world. Major League Gaming(MLG) also achieved a milestone that year by having one of the most viewed tournaments in the US. The championship alone had record views, even more than the Superbowl.
These signs showed that competitive gaming is here to stay. It’s simply exciting to see what else is about to come.
Don’t miss out on part 2 of this series where we’ll cover the types of competitive gaming.