E-gaming is the fastest growing sport in the world and has become a multi-million-dollar industry over the last decade and now possesses some of sport’s highest paid players.
What was once dismissed a mere hobby and something to be ashamed about, eSports is taking off big time and filling sporting arenas throughout the globe.
An elite eSports athlete like Carlos ‘Ocelote’ Rodriguez are adored worldwide and have the potential to earn well over $2m per-year, for instance the International Dota 2 Championship has a huge prize pool of $18m.
Like traditional sports stars, gamers practice for hours a-day and like many team sports, play as a well-oiled machine that compete in regional, national and even global tournaments with big money prizes.
These highly skilled gamers can even train for 14 hours a day, study strategy, practice technique and the opposition extensively.
South Korea is the birthplace of eSports, but has rapidly spread throughout Europe and North America.
Three years ago, the League of Legends World Championship attracted a record breaking 32m online viewers and, with the emergence of Twitch, the whopping figures will only rise. Be sure to get on the eSports betting boom at Betway, featuring odds on all the big upcoming events including CS: GO and League of Legends.
It is forecast that there is now over 210m regular viewers of eSports and by 2019, leading organisations hope to have 420m.
However, it isn’t just online where audiences are flourishing. The 2014 League of Legends World Championship broke records again after attracting 40,000 fans to Sangam Stadium in Seoul, which hosted a football World Cup semi-final in 2002.
This July, over 10,000 fans filed into Seattle’s basketball arena. The event offered the massive prize pool of $10.9m, greater than that of golf’s USPGA Championship and was streamed by US broadcasting giant ESPN. This marks a huge advancement in the sport, showing a major tournament on a respected sports channel.
Expect to see eSports become an even bigger sporting fixture, on your television and online as the prize money increases with the fame of the top players.