After many years of ignoring and at times suppressing the esports scene, Nintendo hosted Wii Games Summer In Nintendo hosted an invitational Super Smash Bros.
In , the largest independent esports league, Electronic Sports League , partnered with the local brand Japan Competitive Gaming to try and grow esports in the country.
Physical viewership of esports competitions and the scope of events have increased in tandem with the growth of online viewership. However, with rising interest in viewership of esports, some companies sought to create leagues that followed the approach used in North American professional sports, in which all teams participate in a regular season of matches to vie for top standing as to participate in the post-season games.
Blizzard Entertainment announced the Overwatch League , based on its Overwatch game, in , with its inaugural regular season featuring twelve teams starting in January It is the first esports league to be operated by a professional sports league, and the NBA sought to have a League team partially sponsored by each of the 30 professional NBA teams.
Its inaugural season is set to start May with 17 teams. Labeling video games as sports is a controversial point of debate. In , the French government started working on a project to regulate and recognize esports.
To help promote esports as a legitimate sport, several esports events have been run alongside more traditional international sport competitions.
The Asian Indoor Games was the first notable multi-sport competition including esports as an official medal-winning event alongside other traditional sports, and the later editions of the Asian Indoor Games and its successor the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games have always included esports as an official medal event or an exhibition event up to now.
Moreover, the Asian Games , which is the Asian top-level multi-sport competition, will also include esports as a medal event at the edition ; esports around games such as Hearthstone , Starcraft II , and League of Legends were presented as an exhibition event at the Asian Games as a lead-in to the games.
The Olympic Games are also seen as a potential method to legitimize esports. The issues around esports have not prevented the IOC from exploring what possibilities there are for incorporation into future Olympics.
Takeo Kawamura , a member of the Japanese House of Representatives and of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party , led a collation of ruling and opposing politicians to support esports, called the Japan esports Union, or JeSU;  Kawamura said that they would be willing to pass laws to further exempt esports as needed so that esports athletes can make a living playing these sports.
So far, this has resulted in the ability of esports players to obtain exemption licenses to allow them to play, a similar mechanism needed for professional athletes in other sports in Japan to play professionally.
The organization committee for the Summer Olympics in Paris were in discussions with the IOC and the various professional esport organizations to consider esports for the event, citing the need to include these elements to keep the Olympics relevant to younger generations.
A number of games are popular among professional competitors. The tournaments which emerged in the mids coincided with the popularity of fighting games and first-person shooters , genres which still maintain a devoted fan base.
Competitions exist for many titles and genres, though the most popular games as of the late s are Counter-Strike: While it is common for video games to be designed with the experience of the player in game being the only priority, many successful esports games have been designed to be played professionally from the beginning.
Developers may decide to add dedicated esports features, or even make design compromises to support high level competition.
Games such as StarCraft II ,  League of Legends ,  and Dota 2  have all been designed, at least in part, to support professional competition.
In addition to allowing players to participate in a given game, many game developers have added dedicated observing features for the benefit of spectators.
The state of the game viewed through this mode may tend to be delayed by a certain amount of time in order to prevent either teams in a game from gaining a competitive advantage.
Games with these features include Counter-Strike: In response to the release of virtual reality headsets in , some games, such as Dota 2 , were updated to include virtual reality spectating support.
A very common method for connection is the Internet. Game servers are often separated by region, but high quality connections allow players to set up real-time connections across the world.
Many competitions take place online, especially for smaller tournaments and exhibition games. Since the s, professional teams or organized clans have set up matches via Internet Relay Chat networks such as QuakeNet.
As esports have developed, it has also become common for players to use automated matchmaking clients built into the games themselves. Automated matchmaking has become commonplace in console gaming as well, with services such as Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network.
Additionally, competitions are also often conducted over a local area network or LAN. The smaller network usually has very little lag and higher quality.
Because competitors must be physically present, LANs help ensure fair play by allowing direct scrutiny of competitors. This helps prevent many forms of cheating, such as unauthorized hardware or software modding.
The physical presence of competitors helps create a more social atmosphere at LAN events. Individual games have taken various approaches to LAN support.
Esports tournaments are almost always physical events in which occur in front of a live audience. The tournament may be part of a larger gathering, such as Dreamhack , or the competition may be the entirety of the event, like the World Cyber Games.
Competitions take several formats, but the most common are single or double elimination , sometimes hybridized with group stage. Competitions usually have referees or officials to monitor for cheating.
Although competitions involving video games have long existed, esports underwent a significant transition in the late s. Beginning with the Cyberathlete Professional League in , tournaments became much larger, and corporate sponsorship became more common.
Increasing viewership both in person and online brought esports to a wider audience. For well established games, total prize money can amount to millions of U.
Often, game developers provide prize money for tournament competition directly,  but sponsorship may also come from third parties, typically companies selling computer hardware , energy drinks , or computer software.
Generally, hosting a large esports event is not profitable as a stand-alone venture. There is considerable variation and negotiation over the relationship between video game developers and tournament organizers and broadcasters.
While the original StarCraft events emerged in South Korea largely independently of Blizzard, the company decided to require organizers and broadcasters to authorize events featuring the sequel StarCraft II.
Esport competitions have also become a popular feature at gaming and multi-genre conventions. The training that the players must undergo to prepare for tournaments is different but still takes a tremendous amount of time.
Team Liquid, a professional League of Legends team, practice for a minimum of 50 hours per week and most play the game far more.
Few careers burn as intensely—and as briefly—as that of an esports professional. Players are generally in competition by their mid- to late teens, and most are retired by their mids.
In addition to prize money from tournament wins, players may also be paid a separate team salary. Team sponsorship may cover tournament travel expenses or gaming hardware.
Prominent esports sponsors include companies such as Logitech and Razer. Pro gamers are usually obligated to behave ethically, abiding by both the explicit rules set out by tournaments, associations, and teams, as well as following general expectations of good sportsmanship.
For example, it is common practice and considered good etiquette to chat "gg" for "good game" when defeated. In a prominent example of good conduct, during a IEM StarCraft II game, the players Feast and DeMusliM both voluntarily offered information about their strategies to negate the influence of outside information inadvertently leaked to "Feast" during the game.
In professional League of Legends player Christian "IWillDominate" Riviera was banned from competing for a period of one year following a history of verbal abuse.
Team Siren, an all-female League of Legends team, was formed in June The announcement of the team was met with controversy, being dismissed as a "gimmick" to attract the attention of men.
There have been serious violations of the rules. In , eleven StarCraft: Brood War players were found guilty of fixing matches for profit , and were fined and banned from future competition.
Conversely, drugs with calming effects are also sought after. Some players take propanolol , which blocks the effects of adrenaline , or Valium , which is prescribed to treat anxiety disorder , in order to remain calm under pressure.
They commonly drink caffeinated drinks or use energy pills. There has been some concern over the quality of life and potential mistreatment of players by organizations, especially in South Korea.
Korean organizations have been accused of refusing to pay competitive salaries, leading to a slow exodus of Korean players to other markets.
In an interview, League of Legends player Bae "Dade" Eo-jin said that "Korean players wake up at 1pm and play until 5am", and suggested that the 16 hour play schedule was a significant factor in causing burnout.
To combat the negative environment, Korean League of Legends teams were given new rules for the upcoming season by Riot Games, including the adoption of minimum salaries for professional players, requiring contracts and allowing players to stream individually for additional player revenue.
Players must handle their own treatments and carry their own medical insurance, which is opposite of the norm with professional sports teams. Since most esports play requires many actions per minute, some players may get repetitive strain injuries, causing hand or wrist pain.
Gambling and betting on esport matches have generally been illegal in major markets. The illegality of esport gambling has created a black market related to esports and virtual currency, as these go unregulated, may encourage match-fixing by players themselves, and lead to concerns about underage gambling due to the draw of video games.
One such example of this is skin gambling , where virtual items earned in games were used as a currency for users to bet on the outcome of matches.
The Act prevented all but five states from allowing gambling on sporting events. Nevada legalized esports gambling in June , classifying esports alongside competitive sports and dog racing.
National Collegiate Athletic Association in May , PASPA was found unconstitutional, as the Court ruled that the federal government cannot limit states from regulating sports betting.
This created the potential for legalized esports-based betting in the United States. Without PASPA, interstate gambling on esports would be still be limited by the Federal Wire Act , preventing users from betting on national esports events outside of the state.
With the growing popularity of machine learning in data analytics, [ citation needed ] esports has been the focus of several software programs that analyze the plethora of game data available.
Based on the huge number of matches played on a daily basis globally League of Legends alone had a reported million active monthly players worldwide in  and an average of 27 million League of Legends games played per day reported in  , these games can be used for applying big-data machine learning platforms.
Several games make their data publicly available, so websites aggregate the data into easy-to-visualize graphs and statistics. In addition, several programs use machine learning tools to predict the win probability of a match based on various factors, such as team composition.
In December , Blizzard announced that it was reducing resources spent on the development of Heroes of the Storm and canceling its plans for tournaments in The main medium for esports coverage is the Internet.
For popular casters, providing commentary for esports can be a full-time position by itself. Many esports events are streamed online to viewers over the internet.
With the shutdown of the Own3d streaming service in , Twitch is by far the most popular streaming service for esports, competing against other providers such as Hitbox.
Individual broadcasters can enter an agreement with Twitch or Hitbox in which they receive a portion of the advertisement revenue from commercials which run on the stream they create.
For several years, MLG. YouTube also relaunched its livestreaming platform with a renewed focus on live gaming and esports specifically.
Especially since the popularization of streaming in esports, organizations no longer prioritize television coverage, preferring online streaming websites such as Twitch.
The first-place team from the University of California, Berkeley received tuition for each of the teams players, paid for by Blizzard and Tespa.
This was the first time an eSport had ever been broadcast on a major American television network. The broadcast was an attempt to broaden the appeal of esports by reaching viewers who would not normally come across it.
However, the broadcast was met with a few complaints. Those living outside of the United States were unable to view the tournament. Additionally, the tournament could not be viewed online via streams, cutting off a large portion of viewers from the main demographic in the process.
He felt that higher quality productions, more in line with those of traditional sports telecasts, could help to broaden the appeal of esports to advertisers.
TV 2 , the largest private television broadcaster in Norway , broadcasts esports across the country. TV 2 partnered with local Norwegian organization House of Nerds to bring a full season of esports competition with an initial lineup of Counter-Strike: Nielsen Holdings , a global information company known for tracking viewership for television and other media, announced in August that it would launch Nielsen esports, a division devoted to providing similar viewership and other consumer research data around esports, forming an advisory board with members from ESL , Activision Blizzard , Twitch.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about video game competitions. For simulated sports in video games, see sports game. For multiplayer games in general, see multiplayer video game.
List of esports games. List of esports leagues and tournaments. This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.
As with traditional sporting events, larger eSport events, such as The International , usually feature live pre- and post-game discussion by a panel of analysts top , with in-match casting being done by play-by-play and color commentators bottom.
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Retrieved 1 August Retrieved 1 February Retrieved 18 September Twin Galaxies and the Two Golden Domes". Retrieved 20 September How Billy Mitchell became a video-game superstar and achieved Pac-Man bliss".
Archived from the original on 29 February Retrieved April 14, Retrieved 17 September This is what we used to watch". Retrieved 30 September Retrieved 14 June Retrieved 1 July Retrieved April 17, The New York Times.
Retrieved 13 June Archived from the original on 26 February Retrieved 20 February Retrieved 12 June E-Sports and the Professionalization.
Retrieved 4 June Archived from the original on 4 May Retrieved 16 September Retrieved 4 December Prove that move was the right one.
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