Just a decade ago, eSports were just a hobby for most participants and very few people were actually doing it on a professional level. Today, on the other hand, eSports have blown up as an international phenomenon with millions of viewers and thousands of players around the world all investing themselves into the games quite seriously.
It was the expansion of high-speed internet, the development of ever more interactive games, and the introduction of free for all streaming platforms that made it possible for eSports to reach such unimaginable heights.
If you are reading this, you probably know a lot about eSports and the community that takes part in them, but you may be oblivious to some very fun related details. It is for this reason that we bring you the list of five fascinating facts about eSports that you may not have known before.
1. eSports are More Popular than Super Bowl
When you talk about sports, especially in America, Super Bowl is the one event that everyone will tell you is the most popular. Each year, millions of viewers around the world tune in to watch the match and even place a bet at bookies like WilliamHill NJ or others.
This was also true in 2020 when 98.8 million viewers turned on their TV sets to watch the sports’ greatest spectacle. By the time it was all done, it was the Kansas City Chiefs that walked away with the title and the game came packed with the amazing half time show we have all grown accustomed to.
What you may not have known, is that the League of Legends World Championship Grand Finals in 2019 was viewed by more people than the Super Bowl. According to official reports, more than 100 million unique viewers watched the Worlds last year, making it the biggest eSports (and sports in general) event in terms of viewership.
2. eSports Superstars are Making Millions
You are probably already aware that some major eSports tournaments come associated with big monetary prizes, but it may escape you what kind of money we are actually talking about. Granted, there are still many professional athletes that make a lot more money, but a lot of that tends to come from sponsorships agreements, which are not yet available on such levels to eSports players.
Yet, when it comes to the sheer tournament winnings, eSports are starting to look like a very lucrative proposition. 2019 The International was a great example of this, as the tournament featured a total prize pool of $34.3 Million, all of which was crowdfunded by the players and fans of the game.
When the tournament was done, OG had walked away with the title and $16 Million in cash, which is over $3 Million per team member. If you put this into perspective, Novak Djokovic only won $3 Million for winning the Wimbledon the same year and these five kids walked away with more money each for winning TI.
3. eSports Players are in the Guinness Book of World Records
The Guinness Book of World Records has been associated with all kinds of feats, both physical and mental in the past, and eSports players have already left their mark on it. Daigo Umehra is the one leading this charge, as he currently holds two World Records in the book. His world records include the most viewed fighting video game and most consecutive tournament wins, and while these may seem irrelevant, just making into the Guinness says a lot about the popularity of eSports as such.
4. eSports are Not So Young
The concept of eSports really broke into the general public in the new millennium, but it was there many years before that. Back in 1972, Stanford University held its first eSports tournament, with competitors fighting it out in the popular Spacewar video game. Tournaments for individuals, teams, and a free for all were organized and Bruce Baumgart made his place in history by winning this first-ever eSports tournament.
5. eSports are Going Mobile
Even by the standards of eSports, playing professional games on a mobile phone may seem a bit silly. However, it’s actually already happening as games like World of Tanks, Fortnite, and PUBG are more popular among mobile players than desktop players and are being taken very seriously by the eSports community. Is the future of eSports completely mobile or will we be sticking to PCs and consoles for the foreseeable future? Is VR going to dominate eSports within a few years? Remains to be seen!