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E-sport: Where did it come from?

Recent phenomenon, the first references to the professional practices of the game-video (one speaks about “pro gaming” or “of eSport”) appear at the beginning of the Eighties. Some American players of arcade games begin to play professionally and are paid for their services then broadcast occasionally on American television.

Beyond some first very anecdotal examples, it will be necessary to wait until the end of the 90s to attend the first international competitions of video games. As early as 1997 in the United States, the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL) organized the first large-scale competitions before ceasing its activities a few years later. The same year, the Electronic Sports League (ESL) was founded in Germany to organize competitions between European players. A few years later, the ESL claims more than 2.2 million users for more than 500,000 teams competing in national and international tournaments.

In 2000, South Korea inaugurated the first World Cyber Games (WCG), presented as the “Olympic Games of Video Game” and invited each year players from more than 70 countries to compete in teams or individually in different disciplines (sports betting StarCraft, Cs.1.6 … and so on) to distinguish the best “pro-gamer” worldwide. At the same time, from 2003 in France and abroad, the World Cup of video games (Electronic Sports World Cup or ESWC) was organized.

If we follow the story, we can see that Korea is not at all the country that launched the eSport since the United States and Europe created the first big rallies. But South Korea has a peculiarity that all the other major countries of the video game do not have: a government that acts in favor of eSports.

A professional sport

Becoming a Pro-Gamer and making a living playing online video games is the dream of every female video game fan! Dream in the process of becoming reality for more and more players but especially foreign (especially in the United States, Korea or Eastern Europe).

Being paid to play video games all day, however, requires some training and determination. But then how to become a professional player?

Practicing E-sport all day requires specific skills and knowledge: sports betting League of Legends, sports betting Starcraft II, sports betting Counter Strike Global Offensive, betting sports World of Warcraft: here are some references in the middle that many fans around the world know. But becoming a professional player is not just a pleasure. To acquire this status, it is essential to train 35 to 50 hours per week, at least, on one and the same game. It is no longer a hobby but a full-time activity , requiring concentration and determination.

Like football players or rugby players, professional video game players are now coached and trained to win the games at global tournaments that are organized between different teams.

The financial stakes are colossal today! At a 2014 League of Legends tournament in Seattle, USA, the award to the winners was no less than 11 million euros. From hesitant beginnings in a video game to the creation of one’s own communication content, to integrating into teams, the path to the profession of pro-gamer can be fraught with difficulties.

In order to become pro-gamer, you have to find your favorite game and play it hard, for long hours. We must therefore focus on one and the same game and not to disperse.

Different sources of income for pro-gamers

A pro-gamer has very diverse and often, unfortunately, fluctuating sources of income.

To be considered a pro player, one must first obtain a fixed salary that is governed by the law. This salary comes from either his or her sponsor or his or her team. A pro-gamer practicing E-sport therefore benefits from support through its structure; material assistance is provided (equipment, clothing, etc.), but it also receives administrative assistance when traveling to perform tournaments, etc. Finding a sponsor can be very important to improve your salary. In UK, the sponsors still do little betting on the eSport players because it persists a lack of knowledge of this environment.

To solicit sponsorship, you need to have a strong fan community and high visibility in online gaming. You need to keep up to date and tweak your YouTube channel, Twitter as well as your specialized blogs. Communicating and sharing your links is essential to attract potential sponsors.

Second source of income is streaming. It’s very simple: the player is paid sums according to the number of views of an ad that appears before his or her video. This base of income requires to have a very strong and large community of fans finally to generate a maximum of sights and thus of incomes. This salary is obviously not fixed because it depends on its audience.

Third possible source of income: the sums paid to the winners during organized tournaments. Once again, these revenues are variable, especially with the increase in competition and the low level of difference between players.

As you can see, unless you are very good at it and have a large community of followers, making eSports a business is risky because precarious situations are common in this sector. The incomes are very variable and only rarely allow to live fully of his or her passion.

Media coverage of eSports

In physical competitions or online, millions of dollars are involved and real stars compete. The latter put their title at stake in titanic tournaments, such as ESWC, MLG, CPL or EVO. Behind these acronyms hides major media events, which are the primary sources of e-sports revenue. This naturally brings the issue of the dissemination of these competitions and events. In 2016, the BBC (via BBC 3) covered the quarter-finals of the League of Legend World Championships. Other major media (such as TheScore), now have sections dedicated to e-sport on their website … The mediatization of e-sport is also provided on the internet, of course, and online TV channels are more and more numerous to seize the niche. These are often independent, and hosted by major platforms like Twitch (brand bought by Amazon for $ 970 million!), Dailymotion or YouTube.

This passion of a few has become a real social phenomenon, and a real business. Brands such as Coca-Cola, RedBull and New Balance are investing in this ecosystem, and are banking on e-sports to reach the ultra-connected 15-25 year olds. In addition, major “traditional” sports clubs are now embarking on the FIFA e-sports market, including PSG e-sport, Olympique Lyonnais e-sport and Shalke 04 (Germany). , Real Madrid or Sevilla FC in Europe. These large organizations will profoundly change the face of e-sport, and the “craft” teams that built it will probably have a hard time coping with those of these professional groups, which are better funded.