The world of competitive video gaming (esports) passed through a long way from a freaky initiative to a globally popular trend. Let’s take a look on its development in details.
It all began in 1972, when very first video game competitions, “Intergalactic Spacewar Olympics”, took place is Stanford University, California.
In 1997, Angel Munos founded the first esports league of CPL: CyberSport Professional League. Its participants player 15 console games, and a sports car was the main prize.
In mid 90’s, main gaming genres were fighting and shooter games, while in early 2000’s, real time strategies and MOBA games joined the party.
The year is 2000. The first World Cyber Games championship was organized in South Korea, aiming to unite professional esports players from all over the world.
2003 – the tournament called the Electronic Sport World Cup took place. The prize pool of this event was comparable with those of WCG first places.
Late 2010’s – esports popularity decreased. The epoch of WarCraft 3 and CS 1.6 passed away, and new MOBA games weren’t that popular yet. But they saved esports in the future.
August 1, 2011 – the announcement of the first The International in DotA 2 with $1.6 mil prize pool became a bolt from the blue.
Since then, esports industries and disciplines showed stable growth. The International 9 is about to begin in 2019, and it already gathered more than 24 million dollars of prize funds for players.
Esports Market Capitalization
The amount of money invested in the certain market is the good indicator of its attractiveness for businesses. Esports market capitalization demonstrated a relatively stable growth throughout years. And, according to prognoses, esports economy will grow up to more than $900 million in 2019. Different brands will potentially contribute almost 50% more funds into the market comparing to 2018.
Salaries and Earnings of Professional Gamers
It is a number showing dynamics of the esports development quite accurately. The higher salaries for players mean a lot more interest in their skills from the side of esports organizations and their investors. The salary growth also shows that teams and their sponsors get significant profits from their activities and want to continue making money with pro gamers.
Esports Audience Growth
It is probably the main indicator of the demand about esports: the quantity of people ready to spend their free time watching video game competitions online or live. The number of both esports enthusiasts and occasional viewers has been growing stably, and in 2018 their total number reached 395 million people. By 2022, experts expect to see the sum of 645 million esports fans and irregular viewers.
Biggest Prize Pools
Top 10 prize pools in esports history all belong to three disciplines: DotA 2 (The International 2014-2018, DAC 2015), League of Legends (Worlds 2016-2018), and Fortnite (Fall Skirmish Series Club Standings).
The highest prize pool in esports history: DotA 2 The International 2018 – $25 532 177.
This record was already beaten by the upcoming TI 9 – its pool reached 26 million dollars already, and there is a month for it to grow even higher.
The future of esports industry belongs mainly to team-based disciplices of different genres. Equally to MOBA games (League of Legends and DotA 2), racing and fighting games will remain popular. World-famous RTS and FPS leaders (StarCraft 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) will most probably maintain their positions.
The existing tendency towards simplifying of gameplay mechanics, on one side, will continue popularizing esports. On the other side, Angry Birds may become one of the esports Olympic disciplines if such trends will go on dominating the world of video games.