Key Facts and Timeline
- In 2017 esports tournaments awarded a total of $110.6 million dollars from 3,765 total tournaments.
- By next year revenue from esports is projected to reach around $1.5 billion without showing signs of slowing down.
- Recently, esports has been given an even bigger platform to share content with the addition of live streams of athletes playing their various games. Some of these platforms include Youtube, Twitch, and Mixer.
- Some of the most successful esports athletes include Fear, PPD, UNiVeRsE, Faker, and Get_Right.
- The most successful esports teams are Evil Geniuses, Wings Gaming, Newbee, FNATIC, and Natus Vincere.
Esports were established during the 1970s and 1980's as video grew increasingly popular. Originally the first video game competition was played for a prize of a year's subscription for Rolling Stone Magazine. In the 1980s, many companies were created that stored video games top scores and would later help to spread the popularity of competitive video gaming to the rest of the world. These companies tried to publicize as many scores as they could in order to spark the competitiveness of people and attract them to the video game world. Serious esports competitions began to pop up closer to the 21st century leading to more publicity and popularity.
The United States was the first country to have competitive esports competitions. The first competition was held at Stanford University in California. After this event, people recognized the popularity of esports and continued to create competitions pinning expert gamers against each other in games like Space Invaders and Spacewar throughout the U.S. After the beginning of esports, people throughout the United States began to create video game teams. Americans continued to enjoy the sport and began televising it for more people to see. It was not until esports went online that esports became popular globally.
Esports became popular in the 1980s when high scores for various video games started to be published in the Guinness Book of World Records. However, esports ratings began to soar in the 1990s and early 2000s with the rise of global video game tournaments in order to get more people involved in the sport. Currently, esports has reached an all-time high with partnerships with many professional sports teams and video game companies. Video game competitions have recently begun offering prize pools of over $30,000,000 because of the popularity that it has received.
The video game company Atari is responsible for first creating esports. They were the company that held the Space Invaders Championship in 1980. This competition attracted around 10,000 participants. In 1981 Walter Day created Twin Galaxies, which is a company that kept track of video game records, which would later help promote video game records into the Guinness Book of World Records. This would cause a rise in esports popularity throughout North America and the rest of the world. In 1988 the first online sports game was created, Netrek, which took esports to a new level because it was the first multiplayer team game that people played online.