eSports are the future

Hugo Calderon

Among gamers, eSports have become a popular thing. Professional tournaments range from across a plethora of different games like “Pokémon” to “FIFA” to “Fortnite”. Many people do not consider eSports to be a “real sport,” as the people participating do not have to do a lot of physical activity like running. However, preparation still plays a big part in their respective games. Players have to study their opponents and practice like any other sport. It isn’t just about picking up a controller or keyboard and playing right away like many people assume.

According to Hatrixx, a professional “League of Legends” player in an interview with El Pais, professional gamers workout often and keep a healthy diet to be able to improve reflexes and overall health.

One of the biggest eSports games is “FIFA” tournaments. “FIFA” is a video game about soccer and you take on other players in qualifiers and in bracket style tournaments. This is increasing as a big genre of eSports.

A perfect example of this would be to look at players being hired by professional soccer teams such as the San Jose Earthquakes, Bayern Münich, Wolfsburg, and many other teams to play “FIFA” in competitive tournaments. Some of the elite “FIFA” players include Spencer Ealing “Gorilla”, Tassal Rushan “Tass”, Harry Hesketh “Hashtag Harry”, and Corentin Chevrey “Vitality Rocky.”

There has even been a MLS eSports cup in which all of the teams in Major League Soccer sent a representative to play at a tournament.

Massive multiplayer online games or MMOs, as they’re more commonly known, also play a big part in the eSports scene. Games like “Dota 2”, “League of Legends”, and “World of Warcraft” have a big following in which people tune in to watch matches.

These players make their living by playing in tournaments in which prizes reach $150 thousand and up. “Dota 2” currently has the record of the biggest cash pool in a tournament, which is estimated to be around $20 million.

Another popular game that has been on the rise is “Fortnite”. “Fortnite” has everyone rushing to the nearest computer to play, including myself. The most lucrative part about it­ ­­— it’s free.

“Fortnite” has even caught the attention of Hip Hop artists Drake and Travis Scott. The former regularly plays with the gamer Ninja. Ninja is considered the best “Fortnite” player in the world and is a huge twitch streamer with almost six million followers. More recently Epic Games, the game’s developer, has included a way to set up tournaments and many have already been scheduled.

Most professional players also regularly stream their gameplay on a streaming service called “Twitch”. Using the service, they receive revenue via advertising and donations from viewers. This allows them to practice their craft and gain income at the same time. Twitch has played a big part in allowing people to become competitive eSports players as it allows them to gain exposure. Teams like “Optic” have caught onto this.

One of the most popular competitive scenes is Call of Duty. MLG, Major League Gaming, has taken COD on a whole new level. Now, regular people can take part in the competitive scene and try to qualify for tournaments themselves.

According to Newzoo, a market tracking company, viewership in video games was worth about $240 million in 2016. eSports are continuously growing in popularity in the U.S. and it is only right to recognize and accept it as sport.