OPINION: 5 Reasons You Should Be into Esports

OPINION: 5 Reasons You Should Be into Esports

Ethan Hohbein, OwlFeed Journalist

In the ’80s, ’90s and early 2000s, the world of Esports was just a fantasy, beginning with games such as Tetris with small amounts of money involved. Now with games such as Fortnite along with a million-dollar prize pool, it’s an even bigger industry. 

Esports is just like any other sport, a competition where either a player or team wins in a video game rather than on a field or a court.. 

I am a very big advocate for Esports and you should be too. Here are five reasons why you should be invested in Esports. 

5. Storylines

What brings in viewers? A good story.

From dynasties that have won for many years or a breakthrough that makes you root for the underdogs, a storyline can show a person’s journey and shape how a tournament or event is seen in the eyes of many. It can even make or break lives. 

A good tournament from an unknown player can bring them the fame that they didn’t have before. While a bad tournament can hurt an entire organization and cause drama and scandals. 

“The storyline of a team would fall under more good marketing,” said Adrian Barringer, an Assistant Manager and Event organizer for SLcomputers, a computer repair shop and gaming Lan center.

A resurgence of fan-favorite teams can bring excitement into the realm of Esports and can show how relatable people are who are involved with the team. 

4. Money and Recognition

You all know the phrase, “money makes the world go round,” and the global Esports market has a lot of it. According to a study by Newzoo, in their 2019 global Esports market report, the Esports market grew by 26.7% in revenue about $1,096 million in gained revenue, in 2019 alone. This is impressive because some gaming tournaments are known for handing out huge prize pools such as Dota 2’s 2019 TI that featured a $34 million dollar prize pool.

Not only can Esport games give out large cash prizes but they can also bring in much more to help make a healthy economy grow as time goes on. The growth is consistent throughout the years with lots of money coming from sponsorships, advertising and much more that attracts many more people and companies into the realm of Esports. 

Photo Credit: Adrian Barringer

One of the many attractions in Esports is money. Another big one is streamers, competitors and personalities. There are many personalities that stream on platforms such as Twitch, Mixer and YouTube, that pull in thousands of viewers daily and provide nearly limitless entertainment. There are many faces in the Esports scene that can suit almost any viewer.

The competitors also have big followings as they are a role model to some, including the most well-paid player of all-time Dota 2’s N0tail, who is estimated to have made over $2 million in 2018 alone. 

Esports has gotten so big that some players can be considered “house-hold” names almost. 

Gamers and streamers such as Ninja started off small, but through competitive gaming and Esports, in general, is now considered famous, super-star like.

3. Jobs

Barringer believes that Esports will only continue to grow to the point where it could be comparable to the height of the Super Bowl. 

Barringer said .“[The] Esports industry already has a surplus of jobs and special requirements [ranging] from event organization to community managers, logistics, etc.” 

There are many different types of jobs for nearly every kind of person and the market will only get bigger as time goes on and will blow up the job market. 

2. Community + Markets

Just like traditional sports, viewers can follow their favorite players and/or teams and generate fan bases. 

Teams such as Team Solomid or Cloud9 like to franchise and make their players popular through reality TV-style videos they each post on YouTube. 

Large scale Esports teams have their own fan bases so fans can buy things such as player jerseys and other merchandise affiliated with the team. 

Many people have made relationships through gaming and Esports. A tournament can bring people together and create everlasting friendships. Esports gives a sense of community. Esport teams can have a fan community just like an NFL team can. 

The experiences that almost any person can have through Esports can build good relationships and help people develop in their social lives. 

1.Competition + Entertainment

Esports, in essence, is just like any other professional sport. It’s also entertainment. It brings in the viewers and can fill stadiums that even professional sports teams use. 

According to Newzoo, Esports also brings in a big and dedicated audience. League of Legends in 2018 through YouTube and Twitch had viewers hooked, gaining a total of 347 million live Esports hours watched. 

“Everyone loves competition and everyone loves a show,” Barringer said. “I don’t see a big difference between actual sports like football versus Esports.” He said if people and companies help develop it the right way it can grow to be huge. “It has the potential to go global like any other sports, like the Olympics even,”  Barringer said. 

The competitive nature will keep people coming back for years on end no matter how the games develop. If someone can win it, human nature will drive them towards it. 

Esports has been around for a while now and it is here to stay. Humankind has always loved games and that’s what sports are for us. 

Esports will continue to grow and you might want to keep an eye on it, one day it just might be the social norm.