The year 2020 is getting weirder by the day. The whole world is going through the pandemic and the world we knew has changed.
Life, as we know it, has come to a standstill. Almost every country has announced stern lockdowns and social distancing is what we are relying upon. The Pandemic has affected almost everything and has had a negative influence on almost every aspect of life.
One of the things that got hit really badly by this virus is sports. Every major sporting competition in the world has either stopped or been postponed. This has made people looking for other forms of entertainment as sports do not seem to return anytime soon.
While everything seems to get affected in a negative manner there is one industry that is being seen to boom humongously. That industry is none other than e-sports. Before we got hit by pandemic E-sports was not that prominent amongst everybody but with such an underlying situation, anything could be contemplated.
E-sports has started to blossom. So now let us see what caused the drastic thrive.
WHAT EXACTLY IS ESPORTS?
- To begin with, let us understand what eSports actually is! eSports is the future of gaming and sports. As Board games have already gone out of fashion and sports will always be a relevant form of entertainment, esports seems to come through.
- eSports is something that is pushing boundaries and becoming much more popular with each passing day.
- eSport is not just any online gaming. They are online games in which two individuals or teams compete with each other and not against computers. It is an online form of sports that are played in front of a live audience as well.
- There are two parameters based on which a game is considered eSport. Firstly the game must require some level of skill set to play and secondly, it must be player vs player and not against a computer.
- By the 2010s eSport was a major thing and many active professional gamers were competing in high stakes money tournaments.
- League of Legends, Dota, Counter-Strike, FIFA, and PUBG are some of the most popular eSports in this world.
WHY THE SUDDEN BOOM?
- eSports has been turning into the most sought-after pursued option with each passing year. Some of the eSports tournaments are held at grand scales and the amount of money involved with eSports is pretty massive.
- Many professional eSport players earn huge chunks of money and fall into the category of millionaires.
THE MAIN RATIONALE WHY “ESPORTS ARE BOOMING AT SUCH A DISTASTEFUL TIME” IS PRETTY OBVIOUS.
- It follows Social distancing and to compete in a top-class eSport tournament, the participants are not required to be in the same place. Rather they can all stay at their respective site and still compete in the tournament.
- “WHO” had once defined Video-Gaming and Digital-Gaming as a disorder. With situations changes the circumstances meaning, now even WHO has started supporting the #PlayApartTogether initiative. It is encouraging people to stay at home, play sports online, and support gaming.
- People have been cooped up inside their homes and have limited things to keep themselves entertained. eSports have become a viable option for many such people, hence eSports industry is thriving.
- Many influencers and streamers eSports have started getting traction, causing more and more people to know that there is an entire industry dedicated to gaming. Many Youtube channels and Instagram Pages are dedicated to discuss and promote eSports.
- This lockdown has made sure that people have started taking eSports more seriously than they usually ever did. People have realized that eSports is not just something to kill time.
- eSports is a real booming industry on its own and many casual gamers have learned more about the online gaming world and have started trying to compete professionally.
- The level of competition has increased as many professional sports and games players have started playing and competing in these eSports tournaments.
- NASCAR, FA, and MLS have all gotten into the eSports and have organized global online tournaments in which players from all over the world will compete with each other while maintaining social distancing.
- Even in India, an online shooting tournament was held from the 15th of April in which 40-50 professional shooters from all over the world participated. People like Veronica Major and Manu Bhaker were amongst the many celebrities who took part in the event.
- The value of the eSports industry has increased almost 5 times between 2014 and 2019. In 2019 the industry was already worth more than a billion dollars.
During the lockdown, many people came in contact with eSports. In terms of the audience who watch live streams of games, it increased from 60% to 66% in just 2 weeks of the lockdown.
- Youngsters nowadays have easy access to all sorts of online gaming equipment and prefer playing online games rather than board games or outdoor sports.
- Social distancing is now becoming a new way of life. It is much more likely that eSports will become the future of sports and gaming. Although traditional will slowly and surely get back to the top, eSports is sure to become a major player in the gaming industry and will surely mend the way every game is played.
During this time the viewership has increased drastically. EA electronic arts Inc’s Competetive gaming divisions vice president Todd Sitrin said “ We’ve seen a dramatic increase in viewership”. The audience is hungry for sports and gaming and thus are turning to eSports to get a taste for the same. “All the traditional sports have suspended their seasons and their broadcasts, so what we’ve seen is that fans are really searching for a way to get their sports fixed”, Sitrin said.