Computer games are no longer just entertainment for little and big boys. On you will find only the most exciting and relevant news, broadcasts, and transfers of eSports players. Esports is a fully professionalized and profitable discipline, How can this phenomenon be explained? When were the first esports competitions held?

What is Esports?

Esports competitions can be compared to a classic football match – both here and there are two rival teams, which are followed by fans watching the fight. The difference is that in the case of an esports fight, the arena is not a field or a hall, but … Virtual space of video games. Fights are held offline, via the Internet or local network on computers and consoles such as PS4. It is estimated that eSports currently has about 335 million fans worldwide. Interestingly, in February 2018, 300,000 viewers watched the broadcast of League of Legends gameplay, which was broadcast, that is, made available live, by one of the most popular players. The broadcast was held through the Twitch website, and its viewership broke all previous records. With such a large audience, esports can confidently compete with the most popular “traditional” disciplines.

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With its growing popularity, it is also associated with big money. The record prize was won by The International 5, a Dota 2 tournament that took place in August 2015. The total prize fund of this tournament was as much as $18 million, and the team that finished first received a total of more than $6 million. It is estimated that the value of the esports market in 2020 will be about 1.5 billion dollars. Also in Poland, esports is becoming an increasingly popular entertainment. Reports from esports games can be watched not only on the Internet, but also on “traditional” television.

How Did it All Begin?

The Beginnings of Esports

Esports can look back on more than forty years of history. Its origins date back to the 70s of the twentieth century. In 1972, a video game tournament called “Spacewar” was held at Stanford University. This event can be considered the symbolic birth of eSports. In 1981, the American information technology company Atari organized a nationwide tournament “The Space Invaders Championship”, a competition in the game “The Space Invaders”. To the surprise of the organizers, as many as ten thousand players took part in the event. The development of e-sports gained momentum in the 90s. This was the result of the spread of the Internet. During this time, the most famous e-sports tournaments were created, such as QuakeCon, Professional Gamers League and Nintendo World Championship. In 1994, DreamHack was founded – an e-sports organization that still organizes tournaments around the world. In 1997, a worldwide earthquake tournament known as Red Annihilation was held. This event went down in the history of esports. Dennis “Thrash” Fong took first place in the tournament, winning the grand prize, a Ferrari 328 GTS. Interestingly, the winner could not cover the insurance costs of the exclusive vehicle. The tournament organizers helped him in this.

Esports Leagues

The growing popularity of e-sports has led to the professionalization of this child. In 2000, the Electronic Sports League was founded in Germany, which is now known as ESL.

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Currently, the ESL league is organized in almost thirty countries around the world – in European countries, China, Brazil, South Korea and the United States. The ESL website has almost a million registered users. Every day they play several thousand matches with each other. Currently, eSports tournaments are held in more than twenty leagues. The most important are: the League of eSports Entertainment, Cyber Evolution, World eSports Championship, and World Cyber Games.