Esports: A new breed of sports

Electronic sports (Esports) made its way into the sports industry after originating in the late 1990s. Not all sports fans would consider it as a proper sport, but it is predicted to generate about $1 billion in revenue worldwide this year according to a report from Newzoo analyst group. The gamers are considered as athletes because an electronic game requires coordination and puts pressure on the brain; moreover, it is highly competitive, which makes it fit into the bracket of sports.

The Meltdown gaming bar in Sheffield is a hideout for all gamers in the city, ranging from professionals to ones who consider it a recreational activity. The rise of Esports has given a new definition to sports and may end the debate about it related to physical strength and endurance.

Meltdown Esports Bar, Sheffield

There are many opportunities in the Esports world for gamers who can enter various tournaments that could be intercollegiate sports events, an ideal step to becoming a professional gamer who can pocket at least $5,000 per month. This money is excluding the tournament prize and bonuses that come along the way. Teams and sponsors play a huge part in funding tournaments and paying professional gamers.

Overwatch, League of Legends, DOTA, Counter-Strike and FIFA are the most played games on consoles and the PCs which make them a popular choice in the tournaments.

The Sheffield Hallam University is offering a bachelor’s course in Esports Event Management that provides a scope to develop skills in organising various Esports events. The growth of this industry has brought a new movement in the field of media, journalism and sports that will generate undiscovered employment opportunities.

Becky takes on BigDaddy at the Meltdown Esports Bar

Talks of making it a demonstration sport in the 2024 Paris Olympics are already underway as its success has lured football clubs to make their own Esports teams to compete in international competitions. Although, the president of the Olympics committee has indicated that some violent video games that show blood on the screens do not fit in with values of Olympic games.

Michal Blischarz, vice president of the Electronic Sports League (ESL), has underlined that Olympics recognition is the final mountain to conquer for the Esports industry, promoting it to be a certified sport.

“People who grew up with the Olympics as the most important event in the world (who are) above, say, 40 years of age, they still don’t trust and understand Esports. But if they see the Olympics legitimising Esports, that is going to potentially be a tremendous change in the global perception of esports,” stressed Blischarz while speaking to the Forbes.

Esports is the fastest-growing sports industry with about 250 million people watching and most of them involving themselves in it, projecting to eclipse the viewers of National Basketball Association (NBA) in the coming years. The rising growth and popularity of Esports will pave its way in the sports industry as it is a matter of when rather than if.

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