A Brief History of eSports – Infographic
Since the turn of the millennium, eSports has gone truly global. In 2000, the World Cyber Games and the Electronic Sports World Cup were both launched. These are major international annual tournaments that are still held today. The 2000s also saw a rise in big money prizes on offer and the growth of televised tournaments.
The largest and most successful eSport league, Major League Gaming (MLG) set up in 2002, regularly awards prizes of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The MLG also held the first tournament to be televised in the US. The 2006 Halo 2 event was shown on the USA Network.
However, eSports has failed to capture important TV audiences and is most popularly watched via the internet. Online viewing has increased dramatically over the last five years or so. In 2012 an MLG tournament attracted over four million viewers. Compare this to the South Korean StarCraft II League (GSL), set up in 2010, that today boasts some 50 million worldwide viewers.
As the popularity of video games continues to grow, so does the demand for eSports. Although still regarded by many as only for geeks, eSports look set to spill over into mainstream culture in a big way as new technology continues to come online. With virtual reality and motion-sensing games becoming ever more sophisticated it is not too big a leap to see eSports becoming as popular with both players and spectators as their physical cousins.
Since then the popularity of eSports has rocketed, with more professional players, regular international competitions and big prize money available, let’s take a look how far eSports has come with this infographic from Computer Planet: