When you arrive at the apartment and take a rest lying your exhausted body down on the bed, you blink at the walks of your mother and swiftly try to get a chance to play eSports installed or on internet. Moreover, if your private tutor informs that he is not coming for today or somehow your coaching is declared off today, no one can remove you from the screen of computer for a while until you finish the game. This phenomenon is rapidly being popular among the youths in Bangladesh. Now-a-days, we can simply find a youth who does not only know Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi, but also know the ‘Faker’, a Korean eSports star playing in the League of Legends and Player of SK Telecom Team, a Korean Telecom as well as eSports Company. As much as the day is going, youths are now being affiliated with eSports. Since last one decade, the eSports has overwhelmingly been developed and touched a good number of youths around the world.
If we go back to the emergence, first eSports event took place in 1972 at Stamford University on the video game Spacewar and first video game competition tool place in 1980. For rapid expand of internet in 1990s, the eSports started to get momentum and some companies e.g. Nintendo, or Blockbuster began sponsoring to arrange World Championship. The Red Annihilation Tournament became the first World eSports event. Following that, Sam Mathews and Anne Mathews formed an eSports organization named Fnatic (Fanatic) in 2004 and made it one of the largest eSports organizations. It has several eSports teams for different world championships e.g. Counter-Strike, Dota 2, Call of Duty, Overwatch and League of Legends. The Fnatic’s League of Legends team won the ‘League of Legends World Championship’ in 2011. Its Counter-Strike team is also considered as one of the finest teams in the world of eSports. In 2017, ‘Defense of the Ancients 2’ (Dota 2) was the biggest eSports world championship in terms of prize money. The amount of prize pool was $24,687,919. Intel, an American multinational corporation and technology company, sponsors Electronic Sports League (ESL), German based an eSports organizer and production company. At the same time, for its increasing demand among the youths as well as economic benefits, the football club like Manchester City started signing contract with the stars of eSports. Like some other ambitious club, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) has also signed agreement with a whole squad of e-players for different eSports e.g. League of Legends, Counter-Strike and so on.
The staring figure of revenue from eSports is on rise. According to Newzoo, an eSports data expert, the contribution of eSports to the economy was $ 130m in 2012 which hit the figure of $ 465m in 2017. The worldwide market revenue of eSports is now $906m and by 2021, the market is expected to hit $1600m. In global level, its total audiences are approximately 385m in 2018 where 191m regular and 194 irregular viewers. Like the football or cricket stars, eSports stars also earn a remarkable amount of money e.g. Faker, a twenty-one-year age eSports young star of South Korea, has already been paid up with $2.6m in a year. Simply youths are taking it as an emerging platform to earn the money, or to become a star, or to enjoy the leisure time. The days are going the number of youths is increasing in eSports competitions. Statistics shows that 210.5m youths are involved in eSports competitions till August 2017.
Since the youths are rapidly being involved in eSports, the guardians or teachers should know how to handle such addiction of their beloved offspring towards eSports. In this regard, the example of Bang Seung-ho would be mentionable. Ahyeon polytechnic high school situated in South Korea takes the students who have dropped out from the mainstream. When principal Bang Seung-ho realized that the students are fleeing from the school because they spent their time playing the game over the night, he took immediate action setting up a PC bang in the school. He offered to play in afternoon and evening only those students who completed their regular studies in the morning. He said. “Once you embraced those kids, recognizing what they are good at, their mentality changed. They started studying as well.” Thereafter, seven or eight of Bang’s students have turned professional in eSports.
The author is independent and freelance writer on national and international issues.