How competitive gaming has evolved
One of the most significant trends in online entertainment in recent years has been the rise of competitive gaming. This has taken the humble video game and turned it into a multi-billion dollar industry where professional players compete in massive competitions that have attracted traditional sports betting sites and huge global audiences.
But the rise of competitive gaming has not been without controversy as many players have reported undue mental and physical pressures, as well as many people stating that competitive gaming is not even a ‘real’ sport.
Few could have imagined how fast competitive gaming would evolve from its origins where groups of Americans would compete playing the arcade game Space Invaders in the 1980s. The initial television shows that featured competitive gaming such as Gamesmaster in the UK were thought to be a gimmick and it wasn’t until the introduction of broadband technology that the concept really took off.
Interestingly, it was in South Korea that many of the first innovations in competitive gaming emerged. The country was the first to host huge gaming events where thousands of fans would gather to cheer on the emergent superstars of competitive gaming. The concept was quick to catch on and now there are estimated to be over 250 competitive gaming tournaments taking place all over the world.
This month sees the Intel Extreme Masters competition take place in Cologne. This event offers the perfect example of how competitive gaming has evolved as it features multi-million dollars in prize money with many more people tuning in to watch the live action over the internet.
The interactive nature of competitive gaming has also led to many sports betting companies such as Betway become involved by offering a service for online sports betting fans to check out the latest odds and make bets on players playing a range of games such as League of Legends, Starcraft II and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
As such sites focus on gamers as they would traditional sports players, it has led to the emergence of the first generation of gaming superstars. These include the likes of Scarlett who recently managed to create a huge amount of newspaper headlines by switching her game of choice from Starcraft II to Dota 2.
As players like Scarlett have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars through their gaming exploits, such a move can cause shockwaves through the gaming world with a vast array of sponsors, betting sites, television companies and huge global audiences watching this rapidly-growing activity take its place on the global stage.