The world of professional gaming sounds like all fun and, well, games. However, it’s also big business—AND growing bigger by the day. Interested in learning more about the fast-paced and wildly popular world of esports? Read on for a roundup of five things you may not have known about the booming world of esports.
1. Pretty much any video game can be played competitively.
In the sports world, only certain sports are played professionally. Furthermore, most professional athletes only play a single sport (although there are some very rare exceptions to the rule). In the brave new world of esports, however, almost anything goes.
For starters, nearly any video game with a competitive element can be played as an esport, including multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) and first-person shooter (FPS) games.
Additionally, many esports athletes compete in different game types and games.
Of course, not all exports are created equally in terms of their money-making potential. Some games and tournaments are much more lucrative than others.
2. Professional gamers ARE professional athletes
There are lots of jokes about the unhealthy lifestyles of gamers. While some professional gamers may indeed still live in their parents’ basements, this is far from the case for others, who actually live like athletes. Not only do they spend hours a day playing and training, but they also study other players’ and teams’ games, strategies, and methodologies—just like professional athletes do. Some even suffer career-ending injuries, including everything from debilitating neck pain to carpal tunnel syndrome.
In the US, meanwhile, top esports players are officially categorized as professional athletes with access to the same legal benefits.
3. An esports arena is underway
People love watching esports so much that a next-gen esports stadium, Fusion Arena, is currently under construction in Philadelphia.
Seating up to 3,500 spectators, this $50 million, first-of-its-kind facility will be the home base for the Philadelphia Fusion esports franchise while also serving as a destination for global competitive gaming events.
4. Celebrity investors love esports
The rich and famous are always looking for the next opportunity to become even richer and more famous, and esports has proven to be an enticing venture.
Everyone from iconic athletes like Magic Johnson to red-hot musicians like Drake have infused the esports industry with capital out of their own pockets. Some, like NBA champ Rick Fox, are even esports team owners!
Also getting in on the exports action as investors? Professional sports titans like Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
5. You can major in it
Professional gaming is forecast to become a $4.75 billion industry globally by 2030. Given the industry’s massive size and potential, it’s not surprising that academia is also cashing in.
Big name universities like UC Irvine and Ohio State Universities currently offer degree programs in esports covering everything from sports teams management and other business aspects to strategic statistical analysis. Additionally, the field also needs many other professionals, including everyone from game designers to broadcasters to marketers.
Many colleges and universities offer extracurricular opportunities for esports enthusiasts, while some even field their own competitive esports teams.