The constant and rapid technological developments have changed the game forever. Sports that were ever so reliant on human intervention in the form of umpires or referees, who are prone to the odd error, are slowly being given the help of technology to ensure fairness. The line-outs in Tennis, the DRS (Decision Review System) in Cricket and the controversial VAR (Video Assistant Referee) in football have all been products of tech advancements. The growth of eSports though, trumps them all as an entirely new sector is not only gaining relevance, but also immense popularity like the aforementioned sports.
What better proof for that than the Fortnite World Cup that concluded little less than a month ago at the Arthur Ashe Stadium? The winner, 16-year-old Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, walked away with a prize money of $3 million. As astounding as it sounds, it gets even more astonishing in the context that a relatively unknown name walked out with that amount while Novak Djokovic and Tiger Woods earned less than $3 million and $2 million respectively for their major sporting triumphs in the same month.
This is arguably a sign of shift in power from traditional sports to competitive eSports. What one can definitely not deny is that eSports is closer to Sports in general now, more than ever before. Of course, the World Cup was a result of the immense popularity that Fortnite alone gained over the course of the last year or so which epitomized the fact that multiplayer gaming in general has been winning over the hearts of an entire generation.
Forget monetization. In terms of usage, a mammoth 250 million players have contributed to Fortnite’s journey to become the top grossing free-to-play game over the last couple of years. This event was just the tip of the iceberg in signaling that eSports is on the up and it’s just the beginning.
With the likes of Google Stadia set to take over, the future looks even brighter for Online Gamers and is definitely set to change the lives of many more Kyles out there. It’s incredible really that an aspect a previous generation saw as a hobby has turned out to be so competitive and relevant in the modern world thanks to the tech developments. We can’t wait to see what the future of eSports has in store for us!