Playing video games is fast transitioning from a hobby to a lucrative industry. It is not uncommon to witness fans in their thousands gather at arenas in Canada to watch some of the biggest video gaming tournaments. This competitive, professional, and organized phenomenon is known as Esports. It usually consists of highly skilled players facing each other in games such as Overwatch, League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, FIFA, DOTA 2, and Fortnite among others. The growth of Esports around the world is explosive, with analysts expecting viewership to reach over 550 million by 2021. The Esports industry generates huge amounts of money mainly through ticketing, merchandising, endorsements and sponsorships.
Why is Esports popular
While the physical world games will always be the most appealing, the virtual world is growing in its own way. Tournaments take breaks, some events only take place after some years, and disasters can affect sporting calendars. However, Esports is not affected and technological advancements mean they can be played remotely. The rise of streaming outlets such as Twitch means thousands can watch events from various parts of the world. Esports has especially become popular as stadiums have remained empty due to the current Coronavirus epidemic. It acts to fill the void as fans wait for live games to resume. Fans can even bet on their teams at a legit site such as comeon casino Canada. It is hard not to appreciate the high level of professionalism exhibited in these types of games. When considered from a social point of view, Esports is also more inclusive, with both men and women able to play in the same team. Participants may also be drawn from various demographics and social groups.
Popular Esport games in Canada
It is estimated that almost close to 2 million Canadians watch Esports every month. Most viewers use the streaming service Twitch to watch gamers play live and in real-time. The most played Esports game by pro teams in Canada is Counter-strike. It comprises 19 squads, with over 1.4 million dollars having so far been won as prize money. Other popular Esports played by teams in the country are StarCraft II, Dota 2, Heroes of the Storm, League of Legends and Rocket League among others. Some of the top Esport teams in the country are Luminosity Gaming, Vancouver Titans, Team Tinker, Team NP, Team Canada, Ghost Gaming, Toronto Esports, Subtle, and Envision eSports among others. When it comes to individual players, StarCraft II is the most popular Esports game.
Issues affecting Esports in Canada
Just like in legacy sports, Esports also faces issues such as cheating, doping and player exploitation among others. Since the bulk of events take place online, cyber-attacks have also become more rampant. Nonetheless, its popularity continues growing, with the industry expected to earn even more and command huge audiences within the coming years.