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The term eSport, often also called eSports, is described as the professional and competitive play of computer games.
People compete against each other on different systems, such as computers or consoles, alone or in a team. F
or the players, the main thing is to gain an advantage over their opponents through their own playing skills.
The games in eSport are controlled, depending on the title and system, for example in first-person shooters or MOBA games, players use mouse and keyboard .
The encounters in eSports are not random, so the player who gets the best performance always wins.
In contrast to other sports, which are about fitness and strength, the demands placed on an eSports athlete are more similar to those in chess or shooting.
Concentration, comprehension, reaction, and strategic skills play a crucial role in eSports. It is also essential for the players to be in their top psychological and mental state.
They are also trained to keep calm and handle pressure in the biggest encounters.
The term eSport was first used at the end of the 90s when the internet became more and more accessible and the first-person shooter games like Quake made it possible for gamers to play over the internet or one a local network.
Although the first tournaments in video games were organized before the release of Quake, id Software, the developer studio behind Quake, had a major impact on the development of eSports. One of Quake's developers, John Carmack, made his 1987 Ferrari 328 GTS available as the prize of a tournament hosted by Microsoft in 1997 .
It was the first time in the history of competitive computer games that a prize of such magnitude was hosted and it drew public interest.
The first leagues also emerged towards the end of the 1990s, including the ClanBase and DeCL, which was founded in 1997. The DeCL then developed into a league in 2000 with the ESPL, which is known today as the ESL and is one of the largest organizers of eSports events in the world .
On June 19, 1999, the first version of the Half-Life, an edition of Counter-Strike was also released. The title was published by the two hobby developers Minh Le and Jess Cliffe. It is a tactical shooter in which the players compete against each other in teams of five.
One of the two teams takes on the role of the Terrorists and the opposing team is known as the Counter-Terrorists are concerned with planting a bomb, while the Counter-Terrorist unit must prevent this. At the end of the 16 rounds, the teams then swapped roles and played another 16 rounds before the match ended .
With this extremely easy-to-understand and yet difficult-to-master game principle, Counter-Strike subsequently changed eSports in Europe and North America and so the title quickly found many followers and is still active in the biggest leagues around the world.
In the late 90s, a title from another genre became a true phenomenon in Asia. The real-time strategy title StarCraft published by Blizzard Entertainment in 1998 became the most popular game in this country. And in South Korea, the first national eSports association was founded in 2000 with the Korean e-Sports Association .
It can be said that in addition to the widespread use of the Internet and the rapidly increasing number of players, professionalization in eSports increased rapidly which in turn led to higher prize money for tournaments and competitions.
In 2000, the international world elite of eSports athletes met for the first time at the World Cyber Games in Seoul, in various games. This was an annual event until 2013, which at that time was considered the world championship of eSports .
Shortly thereafter, on September 1st, 2002, the ESL started the first season of the ESL Pro-Series in Germany, a national championship in which several different titles had been played over the years. Today, this championship is more commonly known as the ESL championship, which spans three seasons a year. It hosts tournaments of some of the biggest eSports titles including League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and FIFA are currently being determined.
The first-person shooter Halo was the first game to be played on a console at the World Cyber Games in 2003 on Microsoft's first Xbox. Meanwhile, the events in eSports still predominantly took place on the PC.
Among other things, the well-known soccer simulation FIFA by EA Sports was still played on the PC in the professional eSports area until 2014. Until 2011, FIFA was also played as a team with five players on each side as part of the ESL Championship, which was then known as the ESL Pro Series. In addition to the individual master, the team competition was organized by the ESL.
Also in 2003, the first edition of the Electronic Sports World Cup (ESWC) took place in France. This event is still held to this day, but today it is called the eSports World Convention. This competition also has the status of a World Cup among the participating players and teams in the various disciplines .
The breakthrough in the field of console eSports then came in 2002 with the first-person shooter Halo 2, which was released for the Xbox by Microsoft and which could be played over the Internet via the console's online service Xbox Live. This game was to have a lasting impact on eSport on consoles over the years and should play a major role in its importance today.
One of the other success factors that contributed to the increasing popularity of eSports was without a doubt the QuakeNet IRC network, which at that time was mainly used by players and clans for communication. QuakeNet is roughly comparable to today's platforms like Discord, but without the players, they were able to talk to each other via QuakeNet at that time. For this purpose, several other solutions have been established over the years, including that of TeamSpeak, which is available today in its third version.
Jonathan “ Fatal1ty“Wendel was arguably the first star of the eSports industry. Already in 1999, this was one of the first professional eSport athletes to demonstrate their skills in the first-person shooter Quake III Arena as part of the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL).
As a result, Fatal1ty won high-end tournaments in Sweden and Dallas, among others, where he earned the reputation of being the best Quake III player in the world.
However, this should not remain the only discipline in which Fatal1ty scared his opponents during his active career. He subsequently won tournaments organized by the CPL in Unreal Tournament 2003 and in Alien vs. Predator 2 and had the chance to write history on November 22nd, 2005.
And the American did that too, that day he won the Grand Final of the CPL World Tour in the game Painkiller, which earned him the fourth title in the fourth game in addition to the prize money of $ 150,000.
As a result, sports reporter Peter Schrager, who works for FOXsports, named him the most feared athlete, right behind professional boxer Mike Tyson .
The early 2000s marked the era of the FPS action. But what truly laid the foundation of eSports was the arrival of MOBA titles, Dota 2 and League of Legends. Their developers, Valve and Riot Games hosted multi-million dollar tournaments which to date are one of the best gaming competitions of the world. The only rivals to the MOBA giants are Fortnite and CSGO.
Owing to the technological advancements, and shining stars like Fatal1ty, eSports became a very popular industry. The arrival of platforms like Twitch and Youtube Gaming enabled gaming enthusiasts to watch their favorite eSports star from every corner of the globe. Aside from these broadcasting platforms many traditional sports channels like ESPN also broadcast gaming tournaments.
Goldman Sachs, one of the esports firms, has estimated that the monthly size of competitive esports gamers, 167 million as of year-end 2018, and this figure will cross the 276 million mark by 2022, basing their forecast on a NewZoo survey .
This remarkable popularity of the eSports industry can be attributed to the competitions hosted by the respected developers. The competitions are sponsored by brands like Red-Bull, BMW, and Microsoft. Meanwhile, the Electronic Sports League (ESL) is one of the best organizers in the industry . Some of the biggest esports events are:
In 2019, Fortnite distributed $100 million in prizes. The final event of the competition had a remarkable prize pool of $30 million. This just shows how much Epic Games has invested in its community.
Every year Riot hosts the League of Legends World Championships. The competition attracts the best teams from all over the world and they fight for supremacy. SK Telecom is the most successful team with three world championship titles.
The biggest eSports tournament in terms of prize-pool is the Dota 2 World Championship, The International. Each year the competition hosts the biggest prize, in 2019 they distributed over $34.3 million in a single tournament.
Aside from these big ones, there is plenty of eSports action all year long which includes Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) competitions, Dreamhack, and ESL tournaments.
The question of how to become an eSports athlete is extremely difficult to answer. Because here it comes down to a whole series of things that play a more or less important role.
On the one hand, there is the game in which you want to prove your skills and in which you should already be as good as possible. Because eSports always means constantly improving and wanting to reach an even higher level of play. Depending on the game, this also requires several different skills, which include both motor and mental skills as well as responsiveness and, depending on the title, strategic skills.
Over time, these skills will have to be expanded and increased through hard training, to eventually grow into an eSports professional. However, this requires a high level of commitment and also good time management by the player to somehow integrate the 4 to 8 hours of training per day into your own everyday life.
Before important tournaments, eSports professionals often train significantly more and organize so-called boot camps with other players to establish better chemistry.
Once you get to the point where you qualify for the big tournaments or receive an invitation for them, the whole effort starts to pay off for the player. Thus, assuming a consistently high level of performance, at this point the first offers from an eSport organization, will soon be received, which the player will then represent in the future.
For this, the player usually receives the travel costs for traveling to tournaments, other expenses, and, depending on the clan or club, even a monthly fixed salary or hardware. But until then it is a long and often rocky road because after all, it is the goal of every player to establish himself among the best players in a discipline and to make a name for himself.
As you have read the history of the eSports section you would have realized there are plenty of types of eSports games. However, it is our responsibility to specifically tell you the different genres in professional gaming. The most popular ones are MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena), Sports games, Racing, RTS (Real-Time Strategy), battle royale, fighting games, and FPS (First-person shooter) games.
MOBA or the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena is dominated by Dota 2 and League of Legends. As we mentioned earlier these two titles are veterans in the eSports industry and to date have played a vital role in the development of the professional gaming industry :
The titles included in the Sports category are FIFA, NBA, Formula One, and Gran Turismo. These integrate traditional sports to our computer screens.
The only title in the RTS genre is Starcraft the game arrived back in the late 90 and to date, several versions of the title have been released. Even after a decade, it remains one of the most prestigious gaming titles in South Korea.
Fortnite and PUBG are the kings of the Battle Royale genre. Meanwhile, in the FPS division, the most consistent title is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Riot recently released Valorant as the competitor of CSGO, but the game is still in beta.
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