esports is the next big franchise

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esports is the next big franchise

TJ Vore, Sports Photo Coordinator

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As someone who regularly plays video games, I have come across a lot of gamers who take gaming very seriously. So, one thing I hate hearing is people saying “video games are not competitive.” Competitiveness in video games is something that has been greatly over-looked, and people do not realize that video games will become just as big as mainstream professional sports in the next 3-5 years.

With the internet becoming a central hub in our society, video games have been making a statement in the past couple years. According to dotesports.com, in 2013, it was estimated that 71.5 million people tuned into web services like Twitch and YouTube that stream live competitive gaming, also known as esports. Games like Smite, MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) and CS:GO, (a first-person shooter game) are taking the world by storm, bringing in different demographics.

The United States ranks second among the highest earning countries for esports trailing only China, while ahead of South Korea and Sweden. America is one of the main hosts for competitions with prizes ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. The largest esports prize is $24,687,919 in the international Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) 2 tournament in 2017 with 18 teams competing in Seattle, Wash. In 2016, according to Newzoo.com, the global esports market saw $463 million in revenue with both men and women ranging from ages 18 to 34 watching and playing.

Universities like Miami of Ohio  and the University of California Irvine are also entering the esports world by offering scholarships for players just as they would for normal student-athletes.

A group of BVNW students recently started the esports club. The club is currently competing in a Swiss bracket-style tournament where all teams play against each other and the top four go on to compete for the championship. The winning team gets $35,000 in scholarship money to split amongst the players.

With this, many people watching and playing esports and the influx of money flowing into the global market, it won’t be long until people start saying that esports are just as popular as mainstream sports leagues like the NFL, NBA or MLB.