Esports & Gaming are becoming more and more popular
The Gaming and eSports Scene has undergone major changes in recent years. Not so long ago, it was dominated by geeks, nerds and other outsiders and wasn’t well presented in the media (we think about the Taff report on the Gamescom 2011), but now it has reached the middle of society. Recently the German government made it clear in its current coalition agreement that «computer games are finally getting the status they should have long time ago». We therefore will discuss the topic in more detail and will take a closer look at the social aspects of the gaming scene.
The current coalition agreement of the federal government also says that eSports should be accepted as a type of sport. Furthermore, they want to campaign for Esports to become a category at the Olympic Games.
The Importance of eSports Big teams & big prize money
Today, eSports isn’t only very important for fans but also for the economy. Successful teams can easily get sponsorships with sums of money in the six- to seven-digit range, and the logos of large companies aren’t only worn by football professionals anymore. In the meantime, international tournaments take place in huge arenas, while millions of viewers are watching and hundreds of thousands of fans are even there live. The biggest of these tournaments so far was «The International», a DOTA2 tournament in 2017. The German eAthlete Kuro «KuroKy» Takhasomi won the competition and received over two million dollars of prize money. You can find a list of the most successful eSports players ranked by prize money below.
ESports becoming more and more popular also has some side effects, which we already know from other sports. There is for example the massive increase in sponsorship money from large companies or the formation of corporate teams such as Team ROCCAT or Euronics Gaming. Even Schalke 04 now has its own eSports team and is active in games such as FIFA or League of Legends.
In the course of this development, it was only a matter of time before the providers of sports bets became aware of it. Now there are almost as much eSports bookmakers as there are in football or horse racing. The only difference: eSports bets are currently made mainly on the Internet. A good overview of the various providers can be found, for example, in the eSports section on sportwetten.online (German site).
Esports is everywhere Advancing to further areas of society
In November 2017, eSports also arrived on German television. The private broadcaster Pro 7 was the first German TV channel to present an eSports event, the «Counter-Strike final of the Intel Extreme Masters». Until then, such tournaments have only been broadcast on platforms like Twitch. And with enormous success: While the viewer numbers stagnate in other sports, in electronic sports they are growing at an incredible speed.
However, Pro 7 still broadcasted the tournament only after 11pm, just like the eSports show «ran eSports», which is currently being broadcast every Friday at 12.40am. Nevertheless, we are sure that there will be a massive increase in the number of viewers over the next few years, which will encourage the channel to broadcast the events at a better airtime.
Current dates The upcoming tournaments at a glance
In 2018 the upward trend continues. In January, there were 17 different tournaments and qualification rounds in the games FIFA, PES, Overwatch, Starcraft II, Hearthstone, League of Legends, DOTA2, Heroes of the Storm, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Rocket League. February and March will be very interesting months as well, especially for fans of CS:GO, DOTA2 and Starcraft II. From 20 to 25 February 2018 there will be a qualifying round of the ESL One of the Major League in Katowice, Poland. As prize money there will be offered one million US dollars and 1,500 qualification points in the ESL.
For those who don’t want to wait that long and fans of Counter Strike: Global Offensive is certainly looking forward to 17/02 when Season 4 of the StarSeries i-League starts in Kiev, Ukraine. There, 16 teams will compete against each other and fight for a prize money of 300,000 dollars. After that on 27/02 there will follow the IEM Katowice with a prize money of 500,000 dollars. A detailed overview of the tournaments and events for the next two months can be found in the table below.
You can clearly see how important eSports has become. A few years ago the term was associated with an obscure nerd community in South Korea, but nowadays you can find eSports all over the world. These are exciting times for fans of gaming and eSports and we are very curious what we can expect in 2018. For a larger overview we recommand you to go to the website esport.kicker.de (German site) and check out their eSports calender 2018. Maybe you will find a tournament you are interested in.