Esports history and evolution
Today we will talk about esports history and evolution. Practicing video games in a competitive environment is relatively modern. From the first recorded video game competition until today, eSports evolution has changed in several points.
The first tournaments (1980-1990)
The first eSport competition took place on October 19, 1972, at Stanford University. By the same token, this event marks the beginning of video game competitions. During this period, popular newspapers and magazines started to write about this new trendy phenomenon. TV show broadcasted events where participants would try to beat the highest scores of an arcade game. The best-known of his shows is Starcade with a total of 133 episodes. In 1980 more than 10,000 players across the United States, are playing competitive gaming as a mainstream hobby.
Starcade on American TV
Welcome better connectivity (1990-2000)
Esports history is closely linked to the Internet revolution. In the 1990s, many games benefited from increasing internet connectivity. With the end of the 56k modem, high-speed connections reached the market. Consequently, games like Counter-Strike and Warcraft III can be played by million players at the same time.
During this period, large eSports tournaments start to born. Let’s take the example of Cyberathlete Professional League. This organization is a pioneer in professional video game tournaments. Together with the help of similar organizations (ESL, ESEA…) eSport is growing, sponsors flock and players become professional. We also began to see bigger and bigger cash prize.
The esports boom years (2000- and more)
This period is rich in novelty. New competitive games are launched: Word of Warcraft (2004), League Of Legends (2009), StarCraft II (2010), Dota 2 (2011), CS:GO (2012). At the same time, publishers understood the impact of eSports evolution on their game. This crazy race to distinguish themselves from their competitors results in a cash prize explosion.
Esports Prize money by year
Furthermore, what would eSport be without twitch? Originally called Justin.tv, Twitch was acquired on August 25, 2014, by Amazon for $970 million. Today it is the world’s leading streaming platform – providing a cheap and easy way to push live streams to millions of viewers. Proof of Twitch.tv’s impact on esports: League of Legends is to date the most popular game on the platform.
What’s the next step?
In conclusion, eSports evolution has come a long way and will continue to grow to serve the booming gaming market. Revenue is projected to hit $2.3 billion by 2021 and shows no sign of slowing down. Just like how people have been gathering in over-crowded stadiums to watch a handful of athletes compete at the highest level. In addition, eSports has developed the same sort of demand in terms of participation and spectatorship than traditional sports.