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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

eSports, the road to sedentary lifestyle and the millions of dollars

Por qubano22005

NBA is on fire. The playoffs have shown a rivalry that makes raise the most impassioned of fans. Meanwhile, the world gets ready to witness the World Cup, an event that captivates the hearts of hundreds of fans of the world every four years, because only a selection can have the precious trophy. However, even if it looks like a science fiction film, it is not exactly within the soccer or basketball courts where the intensity of sports is experienced and where the emotions of young people are stronger, it is behind a computer monitor, a joystick and connectivity where the adrenaline of so-called "millennials" reaches unsuspected levels.

The so-called 'eSports' were born in the digital context and after the rise of the internet and online video games. Through the network, the different contenders can confront each other and even teams can be formed despite not living in the same nation. According to some scholars, the eSports were born thanks to the first 'lan partys' (face-to-face competitions through computers connected in an internal network). If this type of competition was more difficult at that time, the digital world of today allows on-line participation of multiple players.

Some may doubt it, but television networks and streaming portals do not think so. The generation born with the century, named “millennials”, shows a great fondness for video games; so much so that the version of "League of Legends Championship", a tournament in which the best contenders of various videogames are presented, crowded to the top the Staples Center in Los Angeles in 2013.

TV producers have found in this kind of "sport" events a fabulous and prosperous market. In addition to LA Lakers’ headquarters, Seoul also witnessed a sell-out at the stadium where the eSports World Cup was held. Nearly 40 thousand spectators attended the event, with a top online audience of 27 million spectators, which made it the envy of several multi-sport tournaments. On the other hand, Newzoo, specializing web site on marketing, revealed that almost 100 million dollars of the profits were box office earnings.

According to a report published by Newzoo, the "eSports" could reach 380 million followers and confrontations for world titles break audience records that match those of the Superbowl’s. In fact, neither Stephen Curry’s three-point shots, nor King James accurate shots could draw the attention more than eSports did. NBA previous finals reached 31 million viewers, while the 2016 League of Legends easily reached the 36 million ones.

As it happens with other sports, eSports have been commercialized, and if traditionally, representing a sports brand is a wish of many sportsmen, for videogame companies, egamers are its promotional stars.

On the other hand, eSports has been professionalized and even several players have their offices and sponsors. For Sergi Mesonero, co-founder of the Professional Videogames League, eSports are becoming part of the pop culture of contemporaneity. From their point of view, "eSports break the space-time barrier and allow us to reach a higher number of followers and go further away".

The eSports have caused such frenzy popularity that market researchers predict that, by 2020, they will invoice figures superior to the 1,500 million dollars, although this number is quite discreet if you take into account that some 700 million dollars were collected in 2017.

Evidently, the growing love affair of teenagers all over the world with eSports is not only due to being born in a digital world and connected to Internet. The competition also aims at achieving the juicy prizes offered in these games.

According to the market research company, Technavio, between 2014 and 2015 the economic rewards were around the 18 and 60 million dollars. DOTA and FIFA are two of the most eagerly awaited finals in eSports in which millions of dollars in prizes are spent.

Although eSports are economically promising, at a social and physical level such practices are not advantageous. They involve several hours in front of computers, so the practitioners' muscles are exposed to long journeys in the same position. Also, from the socialization point of view of, practitioners only interact through networks with other egamers, avoiding face-to-face communication so necessary for humanity. But we are moving towards digitalization and maybe a computer, a chair and an internet connection is the prediction of future Olympic Games. Will Spielberg have predicted the future in his most recent film?