eSports is a massive industry that involves competitive video gaming where players compete in organized tournaments across various game genres. Today, these events boast a huge fan base and have generous prize pools and sponsorships. But, these exciting events did not become famous overnight.
Did you know that the world of eSports dates back to the middle of the twentieth century? From humble beginnings, it has come a long way and evolved into a multi-billion-dollar industry! But the beginning was not easy. Let’s go a little back in time!
The Roots of eSports
In the 1950s, competing in video games was very simple. Take for example Tic-Tac-Toe or Tennis for Two. But soon, already during the 1960s, the space game ‘Spacewar!’ was established and was the first indication of eSports because the game featured the first eSports-like tournament – ‘Intergalactic Spacewar Olympics,’ at Stanford University in 1972. Five students from Stanford, California competed and the winner received a year’s subscription to Rolling Stone.
Taking into account the popularity of this tournament, the gaming industry introduces consoles such as the Magnavox Odyssey and arcade games like Pong, which awakened a competitive spirit among players.
This happened during the 1970s, while further development took place in the 1980s, and even then, the first significant eSports tournament took place – the Space Invaders Championship.
Professionalism in eSports
Walter Day, back in the 1980s, came up with the ‘Twin Galaxies National Scoreboard’, which was the first referee service for video games. With a national leaderboard and a plethora of rules, it is considered a major contribution to professionalism in eSports as we know it today. After that, the world’s first professional gaming team is formed – the U.S. National Video Team!
In the 1990s, with massive technology, eSports is experiencing a boom! Nintendo World Championship, World Cyber Games and similar events are experiencing huge success and popularity and companies are seeing the potential. The Championship Gaming Series, which was held in 2007, already then offers a million-dollar prize pool and it was then seen that eSports is more than a hobby.
From humble beginnings, eSports has raised to a multi-billion dollar industry! Its influence has even spread beyond the gaming industry to other sectors such as betting.
The evolution of eSports will continue to expand with the latest technologies for sure! It’s already globally popular, and where is the limit – we’ll see!
Do you enjoy eSports? How do you see its future? Write us your experiences in the comments!
”The Evolution of eSports: From Pastime to Professional Sport”, europeangaming.eu, 18.06.2023.
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