With the football world mired in the FIFA scandal and athletics being rocked by the ever-growing doping allegations, many would think that modern sport is in deep trouble. But the traditional sports looks to be facing their strongest threat yet with the arrival of competitive gaming.
Competitive gaming or eSports allows individuals or teams of gamers to compete on a range of video games as part of massive tournaments that have rapidly come to the attention of sports betting sites, huge television channels and lucrative corporate sponsors.
Big competitions, massive winnings
Although eSports has only been with us for just over a decade, some of the main competitions have already taken on an epic scale with some pretty impressive prize winnings too.
The International gaming event that took place last year which allowed gamers to compete on the battle arena game Dota 2 reportedly had the biggest prize pool in eSports history with over $18 million up for grabs.
Whereas the recent LoL World Championship also provided some impressive figures with a Korean team picking up $1 million for their winning performance in the League of Legends tournament.
Corporate sponsors, star players
Such instances have also received the attention of many big businesses with the likes of Betway encouraging all to try the fun of some great LoL betting opportunities, and even top LoL teams have gained impressive sponsorship deals as seen in the name of current champions Samsung Galaxy White.
Apart from LoL, many other games have afforded some players large amounts of prize winnings and prestige. In particular, the Starcraft II player Jaedong has become something of an internet celebrity thanks to his gaming skills that have earned him the acclaim of betting fans through his six premier tournament titles.
Player burnout, televised gaming
However, given the immense amount of hours put into practicing their gameplay as well as the phenomenal pressures places upon players by agents, coaches, sponsors and betting sites, it’s no surprise that many top competitive gamers will have retired by the age of twenty.
And whilst such figures may be daunting, the fact that eSports has offered a potential career to many errant gamers should mean that this sport will continue to grow.
This is especially so as the likes of famous broadcasting companies such as the BBC have started covering LoL events in a bid to harness the rapidly growing audiences that just goes to show how competitive gaming has become just like any other sport.