Hardly youngsters are found who don’t engage himself in PUBG, Clash of Clans, and Angry Bird Space games .etc. Statistically, 210.5m youths are involved in esports competitions till August 2017. Science and technology are moving forward with its increased demand in twenty-first century, featuring our daily purposes met more efficiently and had been successfully made youth, adultas well as grown up children indulged in video games. Esports (Electronic sports)is a competitive video game using tab, pc, console etc. whereby players pit one another to determine winner and loser. Like another traditional sports, fans follow their teams, watch matches, cheer and clap for favorite stars. Esports got its fastest popularity among masses for live streaming international matches by panda TV, twitch TV. Large number of spectators in finals and ‘world esports game’ available online or offline installed on for solo play on tab, smartphone, and pc attained extensive appreciation worldwide. Recently, it structured with professional salaried players, regular sessions and play-off match such as ‘Overwatch League’ and sponsored by corporate giants like Coca-Cola, American Express and technology company ‘Intel’ etc. Esports consist of variety of video games; RTS (real time strategy), FTS (first person shooter), MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena), Racing games. The most popular are MOBA based ‘League of Legends’, Dota 2; FTS based ’Counter Strike’ And ‘Call of Duty are also favorable. International Olympic Committee is on observation for incorporating esports into future Olympic events and Asian Games 2022 will include esports. By 2019, estimated viewers of esports (any form of game) will be 427 million. Founder of ‘’Fnatic’’, a successful team ‘sam Mathews’ said ‘’esports is the world sport outside of football that is truly global’’.
Looking back to evolution and emergence of esports
In the East End of London, Sam Mathews established Fnatic’s HQ, known as the ‘Bunkr’. It was “world’s first esports concept store” people could buy esports equipment, meet players, and watch matches live. If you want to get to the heart of gaming, you go to South Korea, the cradle of esports. Many Korean youngsters play complex League of Legends at PC bang (gaming cafes). First esports competition in October 1972 at Stamford University named “spacewar’. Champions of the tournament, Space Invaders attained handsome award with houseful 10,000 spectators clapping all round secured media attention and widespread popularity. In 1990s, rise of internet and World Wide Web connected gamers and companies like Nintendo, Blockbuster, sponsorship in world class gaming event made competitive gaming easier around the world. Widely regarded world’s first esports event ’Red Annihilation Tournament ‘was held in 1997. That time , CPL (cyber athlete premier league) was booming and was prominent StarCraft and expansion StarCraft; Brood war were different than rest by its real-time strategy gameplay while other embedded in strategic thinking and execution. The Sucsessor; Starcraft, Wings of liberty continued to spike with its standard tactic. At present, GSL (global StarCraft 2 league) competition regarded as the most prestigious force in the RTS arena having its over 50 million viewers and 17.5 million subscribers on twitch TV. Following MLG (major league gaming), current largest esports league and generous prize money awarding ‘world cyber games’ was launched in 2002. Nowadays, League of Legend continues on MOBA regulation and has tremendous followers and daily-contract players.
Esports’ economic feature breaks record of revenue earnings than that of others. In 2017, the total esports prize money awarded out was $ 110.6 million from a total 3765 tournaments according to esports earnings website. 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. The biggest prize from a single tournament was $24.6 million dwarfing the $4.5 million offered by the ICC World Cup. Esports revenue is expected to hit 1.5 billion by 2020 and no sign shows for slowdown. The worldwide market revenue of esports is now $906m and by 2021, the market is expected to hit $1600m. Salaries vary by team and players. Each player must be paid a minimum of $12,500 for the 28 match season. Team Liquid, Evil Geniuses,Team OG are top playing squad with high remuneration. Stars like KuroTakhasomi, German Dota 2 pro gamer earned $4.2 million per year and Faker from South Korea (The cradle of Esports) greatest player of League of Legends and a three time champion including surprisingly debut championship obtained so far $2.6 m of perunnum. There are hundreds of esports tournaments and many esports players earn as typical athletes. Beside contract payment stars are paid large amount in terms of advertising and promotion of companies.
Keeping fastest popularity and growing industry expansion aside, it has great health hazards including obesity, video-induced seizure, postural, muscular and skeletal disorders, such as tendonitis, nerve compression, carpal tunnel syndrome. The World Health Organization in June 2018 declared gaming addiction as a mental health disorder. MRI scans find that addictive video games have assimilated effect on kids’ brains as drugs and alcohol. Alzheimer and Schizophrenia diseases may grasp addicts. A number of surveys by California State University found that the impulsive part of the brain, known as the ‘amygdala-striatal system’ was smaller in extreme gamers. Dr. Tae kyungLee, a mental health doctor in addiction at National Mental Health Center, Seoul says ‘’in the 1990s, the addiction issues were associated with gas, alcohol. After games were commercialized by internet availability I started prescribing gaming addicts in 2000. Since then, the top ranked addiction among young people is gaming addiction. While treating them, He has seen addicts wearing nappies so that they don’t have to leave to go to washrooms. Repetitive strain injuries, in extreme cases, deaths result from incessant video gaming.
Being over indulgent in gaming, when children enter school at their early age, they lose interest in studies & ignore social interaction with friends and family, obsessed with eating and sleeping together. Isolating themselves from friends and families lead in long run to mentally retard caused by constant depression & fatigue. Education experts say that playing action video games like ‘Call of Duty’ may actually harm the brain. The reason why some young people become furious in deeds or act extreme anti-social behavior is violent video games. Children who play more violent video games are more likely to be of increased aggressive thoughts, and decreased socially empathetic, according to a scientific study (Anderson & Bushman, 2001). The effect of video game violence in kids is worsened by the games’ interactive nature. In many games, kids are rewarded for being more violent by earning points, etc and are undergoing through experiences, fierce action of his own i.e. shooting, stabbing, kicking and killing. Players subconsciously practice themselves riskier behaviors such as reckless driving, binge drinking, and chainsmoking throughout the interactive gaming module. Games such as “Grand Theft Auto,” “Call of Duty” and “Manhunt” have higher impact of militant and fighting sentiment on players. Some video games train kids with wrong values, violent behavior, vengeance and aggression, sexual provocation, foreign cultural assault as well. A study by Argosy University’s Minnesota School on Professional Psychology found that video game addicts contradict with their teachers, fight a lot with their friends, routinely skip home-works and score lower grades than average student.
How many hours a day do stars put into gaming? “I practice a minimum of 12 hours a day. Sometimes 15 hours a day when it’s close to a match. I am still enjoying it but probably not as much as I was before I became a professional‘’, says Faker, SK Telecom’s giant. Since the beginning of time, betting and gambling cultures have naturally emerged marking audience sports?and esports is no different. Gambling in esports seems more advanced than in traditional sports. Total esports wagers will reach $7 billion globally by the end of the year and almost double by 2020. Though esports betting falls into two main categories i.e. cash betting and skin betting. “Skins” are virtual items used within video games to change the look of a player’s weapon, equipment, or avatar. Players trade skins via betting sites and use them as virtual casino token. The negative consequences of gambling are more unknown to us. Though wagers initially make supernormal profit, but some extent get to lose all including homestead and properties being marked for bid. That people think utopian scheme of supernormal profit is the key maze and riddle which is extensive in esports gambling.
Some games reflect historical aspects; ’Maoriland’ focusing Indigenous people of New Zealand and their experience with European colonization and ‘The New World’ featuring slave trade of middle passage. ‘Temple Ride’ is a game. Its exquisite architectural beauty causes subconscious devotion to Hindu partitioning, similarity applies for is to use every religion purposes in disguise of entertainment-mode game.
Excess of Everything is not desirable at all. One might be inclined to play esports at their leisure but addiction that grasps gamer all the day long busy, makes school-bunking and social gathering phobia, must be abandoned anyhow for one’s beneficiaries. Parents ought to play appropriately supportive role of guidance & mentoring.
The writer is undergraduate student at University of Dhaka.