Over the past few decades, the esports industry has grown at a remarkable pace. Since its humble beginnings in 1972, the esports industry has demonstrated mass appeal that is able to draw huge audiences on a regular basis. This is one progressive industry that is sure to continue to grow exponentially for as long as we can predict.
But where did it all start? While the first recorded esports tournament might have been in 1972 at Stanford University, throughout the late 1980s things really started to take off. Tournaments for arcade and console games (now more affordable) became increasingly common. Significantly, companies like BlockBuster Video and Nintendo began sponsoring world championships.
The 1990 Nintendo World Championships toured the US, holding the final at Universal Studios Hollywood in California. Blockbuster’s World Game Championships in the early 1990s went one step further and included competitors from the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and Chile.
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.
Some of the esports online tournaments that have seen an active participation of thousands of players across the world and an enormous growth in the past years are Counter Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Star Craft 2, Dota 2 and many others.
Experts agree that there is an increasing interest in the people for esports both for players and spectators, resulting in the expansion of the entire gaming industry. Esports is expected to become a $1 billion advertising industry by 2021, with video driving the lion’s share of revenues along with influencer marketing and sponsorship.
For more detailed information on esports business and tournaments, check out this new infographic created by Computer Planet: