COMMENTARY: Esports, gaming proves to be entertainment of the future | Sports


This past weekend, a number of top esports competed in front of hundreds of thousands of viewers for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Watching esports and streamers probably seems weird to some, but the industry might eventually grow past film, TV and sports.

It’s not just the competitive side of gaming either; it’s the long list of content creators, entertainers, athletes and celebrities that are getting into the gaming industry. YouTube superstar MrBeast wasted no time in expanding his brand by creating MrBeast Gaming, which received over 7 million subscribers in under four months. 

Another surprise this week was YouTuber David Dobrik entering the gaming scene. He played with a pair of Call of Duty (COD) professionals in the ever-popular COD: Warzone battle royale game mode. Then, he had his first ever gaming livestream on Twitch Saturday night, which peaked at almost 50,000 concurrent viewers, according to SullGnome

A number of athletes are now huge parts of the industry, whether they are streamers, investors or supporters. There are just too many to name, but NBA’s Josh Hart and Devin Booker and the MLB’s Trevor May come to mind. On a similar note, Bronny James Jr. signed with a top esports organization, FaZe Clan, on Sunday. Even from the music industry, names like Drake, Post Malone, Logic, Scooter Braun and Pusha T are all investors in esports organizations.  

My personal favorite esport is COD, which had its Call of Duty League Championship this weekend, and put up a prize pool of $4.6 million for the season finale. For comparison, the PGA Tour BMW Championship had a prize pool of $9.5 million for the top golfers in the world this weekend. 

But all esports fans know that COD doesn’t compare to the top esports in the world: League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Fortnite all top COD in terms of viewership and prize pool. In the summer of 2019, 16-year-old Kyle “Bugha” Giersdoff won the Fortnite World Cup and took home over $3 million dollars, more than 2019 Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, 2019 Masters Tournament champion Tiger Woods and 2019 PGA champion Brooks Koepka made in their own respective championships. 

 

This doesn’t just impact the professional scene. Esports are also starting to grow in colleges and high schools as well. Some colleges are even investing in varsity esports programs, which is all but guaranteed to be mainstream at the largest universities in the country within the next decade. 

Esports are not going away; this is not a random fad. Gaming fits perfectly into the culture of entertainment and sports, and is now backed by some…



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