Literally twenty years ago, the world was completely different. There were not many computers for personal use, and the opportunity to play simple games on them was a small bonus and a way to relax. If we played with friends over a local network or the Internet, it was only in order to have fun.

Nowadays, esports competitions attract the attention of the whole world, individual tournaments gather whole stadiums of spectators, and millions of people watch what is happening on their monitors. Even popular traditional sports can envy the prize pools of some championships, and players from successful teams have become world stars.

What is the phenomenon of esports? How did simple entertainment for advanced youth turn into a huge business that took over the entire planet? How to become an esports player and make a million? We will try to figure it out today with these and many other questions.

The first steps of esports and where we came to

The culture of video games in the West has existed since time immemorial. The same can be said about the countries of Asia, the mere mention of Nintendo is worth something. Competing with friends somewhere in a bar on an arcade slot machine in a fighting game was a common thing back in the late 1970s, often in this way disputes were resolved. Anyway, anything is better than a showdown with fistfight around the corner.

Almost every game had and still has a competitive element. Even in Tetris there is a set of points, they are taken into account and records are fixed. Yes, it’s hard to believe, but competitions are also held in Tetris, even if it is not an officially recognized esports discipline:

In the 1990s, all this came to the Central Europe. At first, game consoles began to appear in families, which still cause many nostalgic notes in their souls, and a little later the wealthiest could afford to buy a personal computer. At first, players preferred to play ordinary “shooters” in solo, but after the advent of the Internet, they began to try themselves in multiplayer games. Around the same time, “game rooms” and computer clubs began to appear in cities, where one could drop in after school (and sometimes instead of) with friends and play something over the local network.

All possible places were chosen as locations for the clubs: from rented premises to basements in residential buildings on the outskirts of the city. Modern esports grew out of such basements in Europe.

Usually in the late afternoon the computer club was packed with teenagers who talked, discussed games, spent all their pocket money on renting a computer, competed and had fun. All this happened on sincere emotions and love for games. No one would have thought that such skills could one day give you fabulous amounts of money.

With the development of the gaming industry, more and more games began to appear that supported multiplayer. Proving to your friends that you are the best in Warcraft or Quake was a matter of honor, so emotions in some battles were overwhelming, and victory cries from the club were heard even on the street. Team projects began to appear, in which everything depended not on the skills of an individual player, but on the well-coordinated work of the whole team. We will talk about them a little later.

Seeing such excitement, the owners of the clubs sometimes set aside a day or two and organized small competitions in one game or another for everyone. To attract an audience, the winner was promised a reward. In those days, one could easily meet a tournament where the first place was awarded with a box of Coca-Cola or 50 dollars. Moreover, often the participants had to pay a fee for participating in the competition from their own pockets. The prize fund was formed from the amount of contributions. In the early 2000s, winning the conditional $ 100 for first place in the tournament was a huge achievement, but the fame gained among the local guys was much more important.

In 1997, an event took place that defined the future of esports. American Angel Muñez founded a professional cybersports league called CPL (Cyberathlete Professional League). At the first tournament of this league, organized in the same 1997, there was only one game – Quake. An unprecedented case when the competition was held with a similar organization: the tournament was equipped with full-fledged playing places, the games were watched by real judges and system administrators, and the whole event was covered by journalists.

Over the course of a couple of years, CPL has grown into a large franchise. The success of the league attracted the attention of investors, and in 2000, with the support of Samsung, a kind of world championship in esports called WCG (World Cyber ​​Games) was created. For most players, this tournament quickly became something like the Olympic Games, because there even existed the concept of medal offsets for each country based on the results of the competition. In addition, the opportunity to go to South Korea to represent their own country at the world level was something unimaginable for 20-year-olds. Games are much more fun than gambling in the best online casino Canada and completely legal.

Afterword

Most people do not immediately want to become an esports player. Unlike traditional sports, in this area the player first develops a love for video games, excitement for adrenaline fights and satisfaction from victories. Only then, as a rule, a person realizes that the time has come for something more. At this moment, his long journey to esports begins. Both the teenager himself and his parents should be aware of what awaits them.

Many people give advice to choose a discipline first, and only after that sit down at the computer and train hard in it. In fact, this advice is slightly wrong. In reality, forgive me for this analogy, you start a romantic relationship with the game, and only then decide to go further with it hand in hand and plan something more serious. A new stage in your life together.

Esports has given tens of thousands of people a start in life. Most of the players who started their careers almost 20 years ago have become respected people and idols of millions. If you want to unplug the network cable from your child’s computer, think again. Perhaps at this moment you are depriving him of a beautiful and bright future. You deprive him of dreams and entangle him with the shackles of routine and gray stereotypes.

Image via: Unsplash

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