What was once a simple leisure activity created for the enjoyment of others during their free time gradually approaches a global stage of athletics alongside sports such as tennis or even soccer. All of the excitement and uproar for a simple activity done daily by hundreds of millions of kids leaves many people wondering what all the hype is about.
For starters, at least half of the global population plays some form of a video game, with there being an estimated 3.24 billion gamers around the globe in 2021 (Statistica). With the sheer amount of people that play games, it goes without saying that there are going to be some who excel above the others, and can utilize techniques in video games that others cannot. It is the same concept as a professional sport: some basketball players can dunk, some soccer players can do a bicycle kick, and some baseball players can hit exceptional home runs. In essence, it is for the stars of the sport that many fans gather and watch those sports, and with the sheer volume of players within the ESports community, it can be said that without a doubt, there will be many unique stars each with a special skill or talent.
Another reason ESports is seeing such sudden popularity is due to how many athletes there are to join newly founded teams and leagues. With the sheer amount of athletes who wish to participate, there are often vigorous screenings to see if they qualify or not; that screening leaves only the diamonds remaining in the rough and is what differentiates ESports from many other sports, the skill level at competitions. ESports captain Jack Hoyle stated that “playing games was a thing [he] loved and did all the time” and he thought that doing it for OLu would be pretty “cool.” Jack is an example of someone who used to only play games as a leisure activity with friends, but possessed enough skill not only to compete at CIF level, but also lead the OLu ESports team; his skill is evident with all of his games, leaving a viewer on the edge of their seats waiting to see what would happen next.
ESports may be growing steadily, but it is still not able to compete with top-level international sports. However, the future holds something bright for ESports, with OLu ESports captain Jack Hoyle stating that he “sees” a world where ESports will be on the same level of “crowd interaction” and “popularity” as regular sports and will eventually stand alongside them. I, for one, cannot wait for that day to come.
Photo Credit: wamu.org