E-Sports, for those of you who don’t know, are electronic sports and the term is used to define electronic games that are played competitively. It started off as a somewhat underground activity with players hanging out in net cafes usually after school playing their games, but lately it has risen to large heights, specially in the west scene since in the east scene e-sports is already a very big thing.
How big you would ask? Just think of this: At the 2002 world cup the South Korean team were visited in the locker room before their first match by their idols, Star Craft Brood war players. That’s not even a joke.
In the western culture making it as an E-Sports player requires time and dedication, which your parents will usually not allow since school is better. And to good reason, because there are few players that actually make it on a team and would actually have a decent salary to support themselves. Only the best of the best get to actually win tournaments even if the prize pool for these tournaments increase every year.
Let’s take for example the Dota 2 International from last year. The prize pool reached 2.8 million dollars in 2 months with contributions from the fans. First place took 1.6 million dollars home. That’s a pretty good prize pool, one of the largest to date. Now to see how much E-Sports is growing from year to year imagine that the Dota 2 International for this year has a prize pool of 8 million dollars and counting. It reached 6 million dollars 10 days after the compendium was released. First place will get more than double’s last year prize pool. If that isn’t growing then i don’t know what is.
Romania is starting to slowly accept e-sport as well. With Dreamhack Bucharest being broadcasted on Romanian streams and on a Romanian TV channel things can only improve in the future.
Obviously in the West there is no chance that you could compare E-Sports with football or any other traditional sports, but things can only change, and with the fast pace that E-Sports are growing in, it might be sooner than expected.