The past decade has seen a surge in popularity in eSports. Millions of people tune in to watch many different tournaments each year, with the number steadily rising. Everyone from the developers to the players seems to be benefiting from the growth.
Just several years ago, there wasn’t enough demand and there weren’t enough professional players for world tournaments. Today, new tournaments are routinely announced that are almost guaranteed to overtake their predecessors both in terms of number of players and prize money pay-outs.
Multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs), first-person shooters, fighting and real-time strategy are the most common genres taken up by competitions, with some of the biggest eSports games being Dota 2, League of Legends, StarCraft II, and Call of Duty.
The International, the League of Legends World Championship, the Evolution Championship Series and the Intel Extreme Masters are some of the biggest competitions around today.
As South Korea was the first environment in which eSports were taken seriously, it has become the flagship of the industry, with other countries falling behind in terms of quality and quantity of professional players.
Due to strict gambling laws in Japan, industry growth has been inhibited in that region. However, global engagement continues to grow. 27 million people watched the 2014 League of Legends World Championship, compared to the 18 million who watched the 2015 NBA Finals.
The following infographic created by Computer World shows us just how far eSports have come in recent years: