Are esports the future of sports?

Online games draw student popularity


Junior Kaleab Mengistu enjoys a game of Overwatch on PC.

Eyob Dagnachew, Staff Writer

When sophomore Abraham Belayneh goes home on Friday, the first thing he does is load up a game of Overwatch or League of Legends.

League of Legends is a session-based, Multiplayer Online Battle-Arena game where rival teams compete against one another for victory. Overwatch is a team-based, first person shooter game where you join other players to compete against other teams to complete a common goal.

“Being able to play the game I love makes life a whole lot better,” said Belayneh.

Games like these have become increasingly popular in recent years. Before, esports gaming used to be a more personal thing that you do with your friends on the weekends. After the popularity of games like League of Legends and Overwatch, esports gaming became bigger than ever before

These games have massive worldwide fame with millions of fans around the globe .

Esports began in the 1980s when big companies started to record video game scores, starting the idea of competition between other players. Esports became more connected with the world wide web in the 1990s.

PC games and companies such as Nintendo and Blockbuster began sponsoring video game world championships around this time, introducing the support of big companies to esports.

In the 2000s major international tournaments such as the World Cyber Games and the Electronic Sports World Cup were launched, followed by the Major League Gaming (MLG) in 2002. In the present day, esports is a fast growing sport.

There have been two titles that have been dominating the esports realm in recent years, Overwatch and League of Legends. League of Legends has been a massive game with its main esports competition. League of Legends World Championship had 43 million viewers in 2016. On top of having millions of viewers there are millions in prize money. There are professional teams from all around the world competing for the prize money.

A relatively new game has an esports competition that rivals the scale of League of Legends, and that game is Overwatch. Being released in 2016, Overwatch exploded in popularity by getting 7 million players in its first week of release. The popularity naturally led to an equally successful endeavor in its esports debut. Its world competition which is also known as the Overwatch World Cup, has a similar setup to the League of Legends championship. This is because they both have professional teams from all around the world competing for the prize money.

With all of esports popularity you would expect that everyone would be playing these kind of games. In reality esports popularity stems from the fact that anyone, regardless of physical ability, can play.
With all of esports popularity you would expect that everyone would be playing Overwatch or League of Legends.

The promise of esports has has just begun. the growing popularity of esports can lead us to expect that it will grow in the coming years and become a major sport in the future.