On October 19, 1972, a group of students at Stanford University decided to compete in an “intergalactic Spacewar Olympics.” The prize? A one-year subscription to Rolling Stone.Fortunately, the winners of today’s eSports tournaments can expect a bit more, a lot more. The International 2016 Dota 2 Championship had a prize pool of over $20 million, making it the largest ever for a single esports tournament.

What made such an impact on esports over the last 45 years to make esports grow so much?We’re going to find out what made esports made esports so popular, and why people like watching esports.In 2017 video games takes up a huge portion of the entertainment industry. So, what is esports? Esports is like other sports you have NFL, NBA. It’s people gathering to watch the best people play the games that they love. A lot of people doubt that esports can be even considered as a sport or let alone call professional gamers an athlete. However, there is no denying the growth in esports over the last few years. There is a lot of games that revolve and depends on esports, from fighting games like smash, and street fighter, first-person shooters like call of duty, cs; go, to strategy games like league of legends and Dota 2. So far league of legends is the most popular game right now with an estimated 81 million monthly users.

In fact, league of legends hosts a world championship featuring the best teams from each region, and the world championship in 2017 had more views than the NBA finals, and world series in the same year. Esports started as an event where a lot of people would compete in a small tournament with a few spectators, but now it’s a worldwide phenomenon. Stadiums are getting filled and esports is more popular than ever. However, should esports be considered a traditional sport or even a sport at all?With the increasing growth in esports events such as prize pool, attendance, and viewership, drawing the attention of media and confusion. With the most famous rant on esports Jimmy Kimmel and Colin Cowherd, each talking about their own perspective on esports. However, both failed to recognize that esports is no longer a subculture of the gaming community but is now a massive and legitimate form of entertainment that is enjoyed by people around the world.

Esports is not considered or is a traditional sport, in fact, its called Esports short for electronic sports. However, this does not stop the fact that esports should be considered a sport or that professional gamers should be considered as athletes. According to Professor Ingo Froböse, if the German sports university, he states that the activity requires superb motor skills and hand to eye coordination, playing video games also causes players to produce an elevated level of stress hormone, cortisol. Froböse also said that “the amount of cortisol produced is about the same level as that of a race-car driver. In my opinion, esports are just as demanding as most other types of sports if not more demanding.”  In fact, many countries recognize these gamers as athletes and have granted them P-1 visas, which are intended for individual athletes.

This is a huge step for pro gamers as they can now go to international tournaments easier and is a step towards recognizing esports and its players. So, esports is considered a sport, but then why would people want to watch it?There can be numbers of reasons why people enjoy watching anything on twitch, youtube, and other broadcast services. However, when it comes to watching esports and pro gaming content, there’s a driving force stronger than any other: self-improvement to improve their own game mechanics.

In a survey conducted of games in the United States by Magid and Battlefy found that 89% of esports viewer say that they watch esports to get better at the game. They also stated that 83% people like watching something at a professional level that they actively participate in. Esports also does not lack any other aspects of esports.

Many of the gamers scrim for 12 to 14 hours, many of them have million-dollar contracts. The dedication to become better is there. When you watch these esports games you the feel the excitement, you know the players, you know what’s on the line. There are millions of dollars at stake.

There’s crying there’s excitement there’s adrenaline, and that’s what esports is. You also get to be around people that love the same games as you and same passions making easier to socialize with others.Overall, many people like to watch esports because you get to compare your skills to the pros at the games you love. It’s fun and a nice opportunity to socialize with the same passions. Esports is also fun to watch, you know how much these players have been practising.

Watching these games maybe inspire you to do something you’ve never tried before. In my personal experience of esports, I like watching it because of the action, and it helps that you know what’s going on. It’s also a nice reason to gather up with friends and to just have fun.

In the end, I hope you might understand a bit more about why esports is so popular and how the future is the only brighter for esports with the 2016 spring split commercial for NA LCS.

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