For decades we have seen gamers gather around their television in order to beat their friends in heated competition. From racing games to first-person shooters, and everything in between, gamers love the joy of a challenge. With the rise of online streaming websites it has also been realized that gamers love to watch other people, well, play games. This has created the perfect environment for professional video gaming to flourish and now it looks like the e-sport is becoming a major competitive phenomenon. The question now begs to be asked, does professional video gaming have a future as bright as that of prominent major league sports like football or basketball?
Right now the future for professional gaming looks exceptionally bright and the financials behind it are echoing that assumption. This year ESports, the common vernacular for competitive gaming, is expected to reach the $700 million global earning threshold. The most popular competitive game is League of Legends but there are a ton of different games being played every single day. Fans are learning the names of their favorite players and they are traveling in order to watch them compete on stage in packed arenas and stadiums around the world.
Esports has gotten to such a huge point that there is very real talk of including it as an Olympic event in the Asian Games that are coming in 2018. Ben Lenihan, the President of New Zealand’s ESport federation, believes that Esports have grown to be larger than the NFL around the globe. Lenihan says, “It could be a flash in the pan, but I doubt it.” Professional video game competitors are also starting to realize that their work may soon be respected like that of a professional athlete or a top-tier earner in the entertainment industry at some point in the future. The potential is there for gamers to really see their work come to fruition as something that their parents could never have imagined even five years ago.