When it became clear that computing technology was going to be a major factor in the way that we live our lives, technology experts predicted a lot of the changes we have subsequently seen come to fruition. The idea that computers would become accessible and affordable was once considered absurd, yet now most of us walk around with more computing power in our pockets than technology pioneers could have dreamed of in the early days of computing.
As has happened throughout history, new technology was soon being used to keep people amused and digital entertainment went from a few channels of terrestrial television to online streaming and entertainment on demand. Video games went from their infancy in the 1960s and 70s to a hugely profitable global industry in the early 21st century.
Early gamers may have been considered ‘computer geeks’ for their niche hobby until the late 1990s when the gaming industry began to gain momentum. This sparked a new demand for games that appealed to more and more players that were unrecognisable compared to their earlier counterparts.
As the internet proliferated, the face of video gaming changed swiftly from games that had to be loaded, often painfully slowly, from disks and even tapes, to games that were always ready and available to play. More and more games became available and sub-categories have emerged to enable players to compete against one another on the international stage.
What are Esports?
Esports is the term used to describe competitive video gaming in which players gather together to take each other on, usually in front of spectators. While video games can be played from anywhere, esports tournaments usually take place in person, much like traditional sporting matches.
Some games lend themselves to esports tournaments and there is a range of formats that allow different types of games to be played. Some require teamwork, such as League of Legends, in which players are grouped together to compete against one another to try and capture their opponents’ base.
In others, such as Call of Duty and Counterstrike, players take each other on in solo matches, racing against one another to achieve a specific objective. Unlike traditional sports, physicality doesn’t convey a particular advantage, so players of both sexes can compete together on teams or against one another, and the rise of female players has seen significant measures introduced to promote inclusivity in the industry.
The Popularity of Video Gaming
The rise in video gaming has been due, in part, to the sheer volume of games available as players can now find a game that appeals to their interests whatever they may be. There are games of skill requiring long-term strategies, games in which players need an in-depth knowledge of the stats associated with their characters, and quick-fire games that can be completed in minutes whenever the players have a little spare time.
Traditional games have maintained their popularity with many players choosing those that they are familiar with, such as casino games. Casino games have gone from simple digital versions of their real-world counterparts to more involved themed games that use casino games as a basis for more complex gameplay.
The popularity of gaming apps has allowed for these types of games to proliferate as players can now access their favourite games wherever they are and whenever they have an opportunity. Many of these games lend themselves to playing with friends in a more informal environment than esports, especially those that have a strong social element.
Many players converse online in chat rooms and via social media, playing together when they can and sharing their tips and advice on how to win the biggest prizes. Although there is no need to travel to a physical venue, players can enjoy an authentic casino experience online at one of many established casino providers available online.
Livestreaming has made it even easier to enjoy a casino experience from home by joining live games with real dealers allowing fans to play in real-time. As gamers have more playing options, they can take part in solo-player games, regular games with other players, and online tournaments that they can join from any device that has access to the internet.
The Future of Esports
As regular sporting fixtures continue to attract significant numbers of spectators and fans worldwide, esports appears to be following a similar trajectory. More and more people are participating in and watching esports and it is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world.
As games designers and developers come up with more ways to make gaming engaging and interesting for players, more and more people take up gaming and create increased demand for a variety of games. The rise in esports means that the format of esporting tournaments is being considered at the design stage of games to create scenarios and competitions that are appealing for players and spectators.
The esports industry has gone from a futuristic concept to a multi-billion-dollar industry in the space of a couple of decades. Where once it was a few gamers getting together to compete and see who is best at a particular game, now there are international tournaments featuring hundreds of players competing in a variety of games with an audience of millions.
Students can now gain qualifications in esports and the future of the industry seems secure given the level of investment taking place in providing for competitors, fans, and those producing the games that are making esports so popular.