Will eSports replace real games?

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In 2020, eSports is a billion-dollar industry with a massive following, and three gaming giants are at the center of it all, dominating the world of eSports. 

The United States is leading the market with $38,1 million earnings in 2019, followed by the Asia Pacific market, China with  $18.3 million and South Korea with $16.2 million.

These figures are in terms of profits, but these countries are also in the vanguard when it comes to the money collected by the players in each country: the United States $143.9 million, China $110 million and South Korea with $91 million.

But when talking about the real impact of eSports , it is a fact that South Korea has long been the most dominant region in the world of this industry since the beginning,  due to a culture that has supported and created an infrastructure leading to the development of the best players the industry has ever seen.

eSports Impact in South Korea

In South Korea, eSports  are a phenomenon that paralyzes the country and competitions can be seen even through traditional television. That was the reason that the South Korean government decided to support eSports creating the Korean Electronic Sports Association (KeSPA), dedicated to regulating this activity and thus protecting the rights of professional players. In 2014, the University of South Korea decided to recognize eSports as a sport as well, allowing players of any type of e-sports to access scholarships and to make their schedules more flexible, as they had done up to that point with players of sports such as soccer and basketball.

There are accredited Esports Academies operating across Seoul, and the Culture Ministry expects over 100,000 new jobs to be added by 2020, to support the booming South Korean esports infrastructure of producers, designers, engineers, promoters, and organizers.

South Korea is ahead of the rest of the world because video games are an important cultural element, as well as being one of the most advanced countries in the world in terms of internet high-speed development and the free-to-play concept.

The eSports phenomenon in South Korea began with the launch of Starcraft, a real-time strategy game from Blizzard Entertainment that was released in 1998. The game caused such a sensation in South Korea, the birthplace of e-sports, that StarCraft’s televised games became a popular phenomenon. The country contributed substantially to the massification of esports, broadcasting on TV Starcraft: Broodwars in 1999. By 2000, the country already had  two channels 24/7 televising esports games and all kinds of content related to video games.

Experts believe that many of the causes that have brought South Koreans to the top of the electronic esports scene are mostly cultural. They have a lot of cybercafé culture, and there since, in 2000, they have taken up electronic sports more like a job than a game. They are the best in League of Legends and have been for many years creating star players like “Faker” and “Deft”. They have been making many young Koreans eager to enter the world’s most illustrious sports teams.

They are also good players for cultural causes, as they have a great “culture of effort and discipline”, although of course there are other important causes as well like the fact the government is supporting this market.



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United States

Even the largest and fastest-growing market is the Asia Pacific with China and South Korea among others, the US market is another of the most important eSports and gaming markets in the world and home to a majority of eSports game developers as well as hardware companies.

The first official video game championship was held in 1981 in the United States. It was organized by Atari and reunited 10.000 participants in Santa Clara, California.

China

The Asian giant was also among the first to join the regulation of electronic eSports following Korea. Together with the Chinese eSports Association (ACE), the government created a project dedicated to supporting the industry and players. In this way, people who want to engage in professional eSports competition have the opportunity to learn and develop as players, receiving lessons and training from professionals. 

Over the years, Chinese gamers and teams have accumulated by far the most in prize money.

Top 10 highest earning countries in eSports in 2019:

  1. United States / $38,1 million
  2. China / $18.3 million
  3. South Korea / $16.2 million
  4. Finland / $9.6 million
  5. France / $8.9 million
  6. Denmark / $8.6 million
  7. Canada / $7.05 million
  8. Australia / $6.2 million
  9. Sweden / $6.02 million
  10. United Kingdom / $5.7 million

Countries with players who have collected more money in eSports over the last few years:

  1. United States / $143.9 million / 16950 players
  2. China / $110.0 million / 4440 players
  3. South Korea / $91.0 million /  3906 players
  4. Sweden / $37.9 million / 2488 players
  5. Denmark / $36.0 million / 1507 players
  6. France / $28.6 million / 3651 players
  7. Canada / $27.8 million / 2737 players
  8. Russia / $26.5 million / 3473 players
  9. Germany / $25.9 million / 4132 players
  10. Finland / $25.1 million / 1488 players

eSport Gaming Stars

Although critics say video games do not require physical skill or strength, the hallmarks of a traditional athlete, recent studies say training to become a professional gamer can be just as physically taxing as any other professional sport, and professional eSport players are treated as other professional athletes when they have to from one country to another to take part in any of the eSport competitions.

Countries with The Best eSports Gamers in 2020

1. South Korea

Star gamers: Faker, Bang, Wolf 

2. China

Star gamers: Uzi, Somnus

3. United States

Star gamers: Ninja, Sneaky, UNiVeRsE, ppd, Fear, Bugha

4. Germany

Star gamers: KuroKy, FATA, NinjaDimi, ShoWTimE

5. Sweden

Star gamers: S4, ZAi, Olofmeister, f0rest, KRiMZ, Armada, Toxjqs

6. Brazil

Star gamers: Coldzera, FalleN, fer, TACO

7. Russia

Star gamers: Solo, flamie, Inspirer, LeBwa, Nuclear, Neskwi

Other Interesting eSports News

  • – Seoul will be hosting the First Three-State Esports National Tournament Between China, Japan, and South Korea in November 2020, played online without live audiences.
  • – Disney World will build an eSports stadium in collaboration with the Electronic Gaming Federation (EGF), to increase gamer tourism and host its first ever eSports Tournament on 2020.
  • – The European eSports Federation was founded in the Belgian city of Brussels in February 2020 and has representatives from 23 countries across Europe and three electronic eSports esports stakeholders: ESL, ESFORCE, and Burson Cohn & Wolfe.
  • – Major American media companies will get involved in the eSports industry since the logical move for them is to get in on this sector. Companies like Disney, Comcast, Amazon and Netflix will surely compete for eSports someday.
  • – Due to their extension and popularity, eSports are being considered for the Paris Olympics, scheduled for 2024. 

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