E-Sports – A Rising Sport

Lately, there’s been a new rising phenomenon, called E-Sports. For those unaware, E-Sports is defined as ‘competitive sports gaming in the video game world.’ To give a back history around E-Sports, it was first introduced in South Korea. Sports in the form of playing video games, became an overnight hit in the country. Its primary focus being on computer games, the country took the concept of competitive video gaming, and introduced a cult hit through the game StarCraft – created by Blizzard. Fans of all ages, both male and female, became infatuated with watching players play live competitive e-sports against one another. Top players became overnight celebrities, being sponsored by major corporations such as Samsung. A top player could earn an average of over $100,000 per year based off of earnings from winning. Below is a screenshot of StarCraft competitive game play being watched by fans.

Image courtesy of Gameskinny.com

Fast forward to present day, E-Sports has now become a global phenomenon. Not only just in South Korea, but countries all over the world are now having E-Sports leagues, teams, and a growing fan base. With the rise of technology and streaming, companies like YouTube and Twitch.tv have helped showcase competitive gaming a lot more. Now, E-Sports teams aren’t just your local fan favorites, they have become world-wide sensations, with fans from all across the globe following them religiously. Keeping up with the trend, there have been a lot of new tech companies getting funding for E-Sports. For example, MobCrush, just recently announced an $11M funding raise, for ‘live mobile game streaming.’ It’s no surprise that companies like MobCrush are getting funding for E-Sports and gaming related areas. This is most likely because of the marketing potential E-Sports can bring. Over here in the U.S, E-Sports has grown so big that just recently, a major event took place at one of the most iconic sports stadiums, Madison Square Garden. The competition focused solely on one game, League Of Legends – another INSANELY popular game with a massive fan base. Hell, it’s so damn popular, that even Business Insider, did a documentary around the game, the cult following, and one popular North American Team – Team Liquid. I’ve gone ahead and included Part 1 of their series below, and you can click here to watch the entire series.

As more and more Teams continue to be formed, sponsorship and endorsements will only continue to happen. There is a new captive audience in town, and brands and advertisers all want a piece of them. Although I’m no hardcore gamer, it’s pretty neat to see players and view their competitions via live stream. With that, I’ll end this post. I thought it would be interesting to blog about E-Sports, and give a glimpse of the rising cult following.

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