Esports: the journey of becoming a real sport


The first eSports tournament took place on 19th October, 1972 at Stanford University , where players competed in the game of Spacewar!

Since then eSports has been steadily developing, but in the beginning of the 21st century its popularity skyrocketed, thanks to newly introduced games such as Counter-Strike, Quake, and Starcraft.

The first official electronic sports association was founded in 2000 by the South Korean ministry of culture, sports and tourism. Later on, other countries such as the USA, Sweden, China, and Germany also founded eSports associations which resulted in significant changes to their economy. Sweden is a clear example of a prosperous eSports country with over 7 million in prize pools every year, hundreds of new job positions, and a successful national team.

The long run

Although the nature of eSports is different than other traditional sports, it still requires practice, planning, execution, quick reactions, and team play, just like any other traditional sports. During the eSports World Championship 2015, at a special eSports panel, the invited guests from both international traditional sports and electronic sports communities discussed about the recognition of eSports as a real sport.

In 2013, one of the League of Legends pro player was the first ever eSports competitor to receive a USA P-1A visa, which is a visa type for internationally known athletes. Another positive change when it comes to eSports is the tournament prize pool that has been rapidly growing since 2011. For example, in 2018 a Dota 2 tournament "The International 2018", had a prize pool of approximately 25 million American dollars.

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