eSports – The Beginning Of A New Era Of Sports

by Samarth Kaushik

All types of sports have been around for thousands of years. It’s ingrained in our cultures and our lives. But over 45 years ago, Stanford University held a tournament for the game, Spacewar. Little did they know, what they were about to do was going to be historic. That little tournament in 1972, with the prize being a free subscription to the Rolling Stone, was going to be the start of an International Phenomenon.

Today, eSports is everywhere, whether you realize or not. All games have a small minority of players that have exceptional amount of skill in it compared to others. These players with skill tend to post videos of them playing the game on YouTube, which garner millions of views. That kid on the street might be watching a professional player whether he knows it not. Ninja, a person who was on various Late Night shows and commercials, used to be a professional gamer, before his stream attracted thousands of young viewers. eSports has become very popular in recent years due to gaming becoming very popular. Not all games can become good eSports. They need to have skill, aim, and strategy required to make the experience for the viewer enjoyable. Just like in traditional sports, fans have favorite teams and players.

A perfect example of this is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. This game is a 5v5 first person shooter game, where you work with your team to either wipe out the enemy team, or plant a bomb in the map that can win you the round. The other team has to defuse the bomb, or wipe out the bomb team. Millions of viewers around the globe tune in to watch the games and in 2017 the IEM Katowice championship had an attendance of 173,000 in the Spodek Arena, and 55 million people around the world. In comparison, President Trump’s inauguration only had 30 million viewers.

I believe that eSports will be the sport of tomorrow, and many colleges have started giving out scholarships to players already. I look forward to seeing more attention gained toward gaming.