Lately, a new kind of sport has been born, which is becoming more and more famous, not in courts but on our PC screens. The so called esports – aka internet games – are now a huge part of the entertainment industry with championships being organized on a global scale, and attracting sponsors, well payed stars, ads and of course millions of viewers.
So as it happens with the “real” sports (soccer, football, basketball etc), it was only a matter of time until the famous fantasy leagues made an appearance creating new teams with the stars being not Lionel Messi or Lebron James, but with the favourite and most talented players of the internet games. And this is not just a trend that will make its circle and pass. This trend seems to be here to stay as things are getting more and more real since the industry is now well established and already making big money by a big audience.
The importance of the events can be spotted on the most recent news according to which, David Stern – one of the most successful managers in the last decades – made an investment of 5 million dollars to a company called AplhaDraft, one of the fastest rising companies in the industry. The 73yearold Stern undoubtedly “sees” a future in an effort that keeps evolving and getting better.
League of Legends (aka LoL), Dota 2, World of Tanks, Battlefield, Counter Strike. All those are games that have already established a large target group of fans who follow, watch and participate to all kinds of international – or even more local – championships. The prizes are big and worth the effort. The audience cheers just as if they were watching a baseball game. Teams that take part in such contests may prepare for weeks, months, even years. They work on strategies, clever tactics and moves, all along the rules of the tournament of course.
The fantasy sports, have started making the first steps many decades ago, but it was never on larger scales than local. And the new modern internet age has taken things to a whole new level. Now, the fantasy sports “players” (they are actually considered gamers) can compete against each other on a daily or weekly basis, winning some good prizes while at the same time, millions can watch those matches online and sometimes bet.
Now think that pattern to the esports industry. One viewer from a random country for instance watches the game and bets on two players from two different countries. And all that requires just a computer. Confused? Well, the industry of fantasy sports or esports gets larger and more confusing. In the world of fast Internet, gaming (entertainment) and gambling (profit) can sometimes come at the same time, often in ways that we can hardly understand.
Nonetheless it seems that the esports industry is here to stay as more and more recognition is being gained and people start including that type of entertainment to their routine activities. So there is definitely more to expect.