E-sportsE-sports stands for electronic sports. This is a term todescribe the play of video games in a competitiveenvironment. Tournaments are held at big LAN (LocalArea Network) events or even online and ofteninclude a wealthy prize pool. Top professional playersmanage to make a comfortable living by competing.These events are getting bigger and bigger everydayas they gain more momentum and backing.
GamesThe most common games played competitively are real time strategy gamessuch as “Starcraft 2”, fighting games such as “StreetFighter” and first personshooter games such as the “halo” franchise. Any game can be playedcompetitively but these games are designed and therefore lend themselves toa competitive environment, usually due to the skill required and depth ofstrategy involved. The skill difference between new players of these games andthe best players in the world is massive and there is always, always room forimprovement. This creates an exciting concept that is not only fun to play but isalso extremely fun in terms of a spectator sport.
Events/tournamentsThere are many, many tournaments held all over the world allowing players tocompete and attracting huge crowds of fans to spectate and cheer on theirfavourite players. Events such a MLG (major league gaming), the GSL (global starleague) and Dreamhack all attract a huge crowd and put up a substantial prize poolfor the winners and runners up.MLG: GSL:1st $5,000.00 Dreamhack: Winner: $85,700 Winner: $11,0002nd $3,000.00 Runner-Up: $25,7003rd $2,000.00 Runner-up: $4000 Semi-Finalists: $8,6004th $1,400.00 Quarter-Finalists: $3,4005th $1,000.00 Round of 16: $17106th $700.00 Round of 32: $430 USD7th $500.00 Round of 64: $260 USD8th $400.00
South KoreaSouth Korea is the home of e-sports. Competitive gaming is their national sport, it is asbig there as American football is in the USA or football is here in the UK. They host thebiggest tournaments by far such as the GSL and even have dedicated television showscovering the action and news in the world of e-sports.The top level players are comparable to rock stars, earning a very decent living andhaving hordes of adoring fans. The most popular game played is “Starcraft :BroodWar”, the predecessor to Starcraft 2. This game requires the strategic mind of achess player and the hand speed and accuracy of a top level pianist, creating anexciting and eventful environment for players to compete, and this is shown by theamount of people that show up to the events to spectate.