History of E-sports (Part I)

eSports is as “a form of sports where the primary aspects of the sport are facilitated by electronic systems; the input of players and teams as well as the output of the eSports system are mediated by human-computer interfaces.”

During recent years, eSports (electronic sports) have become one of the most rapidly growing forms of new media driven by the growing provenance of (online) games and online broadcasting technologies. It has been estimated that more than 70 million people watched eSports during 2013.

So, when eSports started its development and why is it such a popular kind of sport?

The industry eSports has recently enjoyed wide international adoption, and there are still different points of view whatever eSports can be considered as a sport in general or not. From the one hand, eSports cannot be called a sport, because the player is not measured via either their physical prowess or finesse as the eSports athletes appear to be simply sitting riveted to their chairs. The absolute antithesis of that is the player has to be in shape to click on mouse and keyboard fast, be attentive and patient. Usually gamers, who played piano or guitar before, have more developed physical training than common gamers.

Nevertheless, eSports industry is growing with millions of viewers worldwide and huge audience that’s willing to pay money to watch videos with their favourite players, to attend tournament, to donate them. Today viewers and subscribers are able to make bets on matches as in general sport.

Professional players have their coaches to keep fit, to learn some new 
techniques, to analyse games of opponents etc. It’s like in general sport, isn’t it?

The first tournament was held over 45 years ago at Stanford University. The 1972 Intergalactic Spacewar! Olympics attracted 20 people to play in five-man team and free-for-all events. The winners — Slim Tovar and Robert E. Maas (team) and Bruce Baumgart (singles) — received a year’s subscription to Rolling Stone magazine. It was the first video game tournament, which laid the foundation of eSports industry.

In 1980 year the huge tournament called the Atari National Space Invaders Championship was held in New York. Thousands of button-pushing, electronic game enthusiasts around the country entered the contest to play Japanese game.

In 1981, Walter Day set up Twin Galaxies, a database of video game world records (still the officially recognised source today) and two years later he made himself team captain of the US National Video Game Team. They made global challenges in this industry.

In 1988 a little-know game called Netrek would lay the trail for the future of online gaming. It is largely derived from Empire, written for the PLATO mainframe system beginning in 1973. It was a 16-player online game that pitted players against each other in space, combining shooter and real-time strategy elements. As internet connectivity accelerated in the early 90s more and more people started playing it, and in 1993 Wired magazine labeled it the first online sports game.

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