Mentioned in The Guinness Bok of Records of 1997 Denis Fong was the first professional ideo game player winning all the Doom, Doom 2, Quake and Quake 2 tournaments for five years being dubbed teh Michael Jordan of esports.
Move on twenty years or so there are now thousands of professional gamers with some of those going head to head in tournaments like the Orange Super league which is the highest-profile competition that Spain has to offer. Many pro pokers players are all turning to eSports with gambling sites running monthly competitions. You can play live here and start your journey.
But it was in the US back in the 1970’s that the very first tournaments took place although broadband was required before esports would become the incredibly popular and lucrative business it is today. Before Wi-fi was widely available gamers could be found huddled in cybercafés in order to take part in competitions, with gamers taking part simply for that competitiveness and the glory of the win.
After that competitions would offer winners prizes like a new keyboard although there were no travel expenses paid, and because of this there were many gamers who could not afford to travel and so it was practically the same people who came to play each time.
Once we were able to enjoy a better internet connection then other people over the world were challenged to play, and then the rebroadcasting of games encouraged more people to watch which led to gamers going professional.
Fast forward to 2018 and eSports has in excess of 350 million viewers worldwide and is going mainstream after early scepticism.
Today eSports have team owners, contracts and other partnerships just like any other business that will fund more than one teams for a variety of games that often pay for things like coaches and trainers, the team’s food and gaming peripherals as well as amenities like housing and power supplies.
Take the NFL for instance which sells the broadcast rights for games on television and through digital channels with the revenue of that contract being shared with its teams and players. eSports can also form contracts with different leagues and those contracts will have their own set of agreements when it comes down to media rights and in this way more sponsorship is generated.
Salaries for those that take part in eSports vary, and there is some concern over the lack of transparency within the world of eSports as this makes it hard for players to gauge what is fair.
The professional eSports organisation Riot reported that each team in the League of Legends Championship Series gets enough money to pay a salary and also help with operating expenses, with each player being paid a minimum of $12,500 for the 28-match season.
This does not mean that many players get far more because they do. Many players in addition to the basic rate earn extra money by winning or being placed in competitions, and for a five-person team that money could range from $2,000 up to $10,000 per player in the playoffs alone.
For games like Dota 2 which is one of the most popular games in eSports the prize pot can reach over $20 million with a team such as Team Liquid earing total prize money in the region of $18,231,389.
Team Liquid was formed back in 1998 and have played a total of 1,130 tournaments with Dota 2, StarCraft ll and Counter-Strike: Global being their biggest earners.