Esports attract players, fans, money


Esports are one of the fastest growing entertainment phenomena in the world.  Millions across the US and the world not only play, but watch the best players compete for prize money.  Many Mustangs are part of this growing community.  This is part one in a series.

PRESLEY LONG – Mustangs Ahead

a smartphone game controller on a person s hand
Photo by Joseph Redfield on

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – When you hear the word “sports,” what usually pops in your head? Most people think something like basketball, soccer or football.

However, one of the most popular rising ways to play sports is esports.

Esports are competitive, multi-player videogames.

Esports is on its way to becoming the most popular sport in the world. In 2016, 270-million fans either played or watched esports. That number is expected to climb to a whopping 495-million people by 2020.

The first video game ever released was Pong in 1958. It was a very simple tennis game that was played on a computer and used controllers to manipulate the rackets.

The video game concept was invented by engineer Ralph Baer, the creator of Pong, in 1951 when his boss asked him to make a television set. Baer wanted to add a game concept to the television. However, his boss turned down the offer.

This did not stop Baer.  In 1966 he went back to his game idea and started building the first video game prototype. This prototype led to the creation of the first playable video game Chase, which featured two squares chasing each other. Baer’s last prototype in 1968 played ball and paddle games.

Companies soon became interested in the Baers’ game concept and in May 1972 the first video game system, Odyssey, was released. The popular video game system Atari was also created, and then improved on in 1973.

Video games did not really get rolling until 1985 when Nintendo introduced the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

The market for video games expanded when Nintendo released soon-to-be popular games such as “Legend of Zelda” and “Super Mario Bros.” These games encouraged more people to buy video games.

Soon after Nintendo became popular, PlayStation was released.

Video games are the fastest growing way to play sports, hence the name “esports.”  It is already recognized as a school varsity sport in eight states. According to data analytics server New Zoo, “It is the biggest thing to hit (the tech) industry since the launch of the iPhone in 2007.”

Statistics show that there are 20 million esport fans in the world. With that many people participating in the playing of video games, the global esports market is expected to bring in $1- billion in 2019.

Huge stadiums in England, Poland, and Germany see thousands of fans lining up to participate in esport events.

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