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What are Esports?- Everything You Need to Know

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Esports, or if you prefer, electronic sports, refer to professional-level electronic game competitions broadcast to a legion of fans around the world. These games are played individually or in teams via the internet and networked computers. Esports are competitive modalities played in games like League of Legends and Counter-Strike.

All of this, at a pace that promises to move until the year 2022 the sum of 3 billion dollars. Gigantic numbers for a gigantic machine that competes for attention with other traditional sports. Demanding the same level of training and commitment from their pantheon of athletes. To learn more about this universe of exciting disputes on the mouse and joystick, follow our basic guide on esports.

How it all began?

The first esports event that we know of was in October 1972 at Stamford University in California. Students organized a contest for Spacewar, one of the pioneering computer games. Eight years later, the Atari company was responsible for the first major video game competition in history. The Space Invaders Championship, which attracted 10,000 young people in the United States.

The first esports event, students organized a Spacewar contest. (Image: namraka)

The first esports event, students organized a Spacewar contest. (Image: namraka)


Since then, with the evolution of technology and the internet, electronic game competitions have gained momentum in Internet cafes and have become popular beyond North America, gaining space in Europe and Asia. Especially in South Korea, today considered by many to be the esports capital of the world. However, it was only with the popularization of broadband around the world in the past decade that game developers began to invest heavily in electronic gaming championships.

How does it all work?

Esports are a great machine that works from four fundamental gears. Electronic game companies, leagues, players and streaming platforms. The more aligned these gears are, the greater the longevity of the games. Dota 2, Counter-Strike, LoL and Overwaych are the greatest examples of established games. Check out the role of each one below:


There is no creature without a creator. Responsible for the elaboration of the games and anxious for a good repercussion among the players who raise their products to the category of esports. These companies can also perform other functions within this sector, such as organizing tournaments or even broadcast the matches directly to the public.


If a company launches a game that becomes a public success, the leagues appear to organize championships. It can be from individual players or teams. The main functions of the leagues are to create rules for disputes, raise funds from sponsors and promote the dissemination of their esports. These leagues can be independent or derived from the companies that created the games themselves.


in the esports world, they are the protagonists. Esports athletes, as in any traditional sport, can pursue a solo career or play in teams. Being paid by their clubs and receiving money from sponsorship, advertising and the tournament prizes themselves. It may seem like a dream career, but the challenge is not for anyone. Professional players can dedicate up to thirteen hours a day in training for the championships.


Esports would never win such an audience without streaming. English expression for the transmission of content via the internet. Although some channels currently broadcast the disputes over cable TV. It is sites like Twitch and YouTube that stand out. These allow over 100 million Esports fans to watch the matches live and the players themselves in action without having to pay anything.

G2 Esports, one of the best teams of League of Legends in the world. (Image: Riot Games)

What are the modalities?

Esports are not just about shooting and arena games. The wealth of this industry lies in the variety of genres it involves. Covering everything from traditional sports fans to card aficionados. This requires a list of players with the most different skills. Below are the most popular sports in the esports universe:


League of Legends is the most played game in the world. (Image: Riot Games)

League of Legends is the most played game in the world. (Image: Riot Games)

Style of greatest appeal among Esports fans, the MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena). It is a genre of RPG and strategy in which two teams must face each other in an arena in order to conquer the main base of the opponent. Among its main titles are League of Legends and Dota 2;



Fortnite and PUBG are the big stars of this survival genre. The winner is declared when the player or group of players who survive the attacks of other opponents in an arena. Call of Duty Warzone is one of the last of its kind released. The game is on the rise


Counter Strike Global Offensive is one of the most played games in the world. (Image: ESL)

Counter Strike Global Offensive is one of the most played games in the world. (Image: ESL)

The genre FPS (First Person Shooter), or Shooting in First Person, consists of the victory over the opponent either by the accomplishment of a mission, how to destroy its base, or by the annihilation of the team. If you thought about Counter Strike and Overwatch, you're right.


Warcraft is a phenomenon in esports. (Image: Blizzard)

Warcraft is a phenomenon in esports. (Image: Blizzard)

Acronym for Real-Time Strategy, or Real Time Strategy, the modality includes well-known RPG games such as StarCraft and Warcraft, which require fundraising to enrich their base and strengthen their army to fight opponents;


Mortal Kombat is the most popular fighting game. (Image: Warner)

Games in the Fighting genre aim to “fight” with your opponent until their hit points reach zero. Usually disputed by only two players, the genre features the Street Fighter, Smash Bros and Mortal Kombat franchises as exponents;


Hearthstone excels in esports in card games. (Image: Blizzard)

Hearthstone excels in esports in card games. (Image: Blizzard)

This modality is also known as Letters. It involves the strategic dispute between two players on a board where the objective is, in most games, to zero the rival's points. Hearthstone and GWENT are the current big names in the genre;


FIFA is the most played football game in the world. (Image: EA)

FIFA is the most played football game in the world. (Image: EA)

This category includes games that, as its name suggests, reproduce the characteristics of real-world sports, such as football and basketball. Played between teams, the simulators feature as main highlights the franchises FIFA, Pro Evolution Soccer and NBA 2K.

Esports in Numbers

  • 453.8 million is the global esports audience estimate for 2019. Regular fans make up 201.2 million of this total, while casual viewers represent 252.6 million. For the year 2021, the industry expects the total audience to reach the mark of 557 million people;
  • In the year 2013, the world audience saw a total of 2.4 billion hours of esports via streaming. With the vigorous increase in audience in the following years, the total hours watched in 2018 jumped to 6.6 billion;
  • There are a total of 21.2 million viewers. Among them, 9.2 million regular fans and 12 million casual enthusiasts. This represents a 20% increase in audience for the country compared to 2018;
  • The esports market will move $ 1.8 billion in 2022. Of this total, $ 897 million will come from sectors such as advertising and media rights.

Brazilian, 23 years old, I follow eSports since 2010 with a good experience in Counter Strike Global Offensive, Fortnite, League of Legends and Valorant with articles and news published in the electronic sports scene.