From Amiga games to the world of e-sports

Children these days not only play computer games for fun, but they can also become professional e-athletes earning hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, what is e-sports?

You must have seen it from your own or your relatives’ children. They are watching video games on YouTube or TV gaming channels. Yes, you did not read this wrong, not playing, but instead watching video games. They are watching what is called ‘e-sports’. Summarized in a sentence, e-sports is: a sport made within several mainstream games, among professional-level computer gamers, for an award and/or a title. It has federations in many countries in the world, including Turkey and in fact, it is predicted, in the near future, it will feature at the Olympics.

This sport attracts such great attention that it is said its economy has the potential to surpass even the football economy. While world-famous e-athletes become a phenomenon like world-famous football players, they can also earn millions of dollars from tournaments, sponsorships, and advertisements. Turkey also has its own players who are followed by millions of people and earn hundreds of thousands of dollars. Today, when you ask children the question “What will you be when you grow up?” you often get the answer “YouTube Gamer”. Considering that we are in an age where we all have to “do more and more at home”, it is not so strange for young people to do sports from their chair! We have compiled some interesting information about this area of sport, which has made a new and fast entry into our lives:

Candidate for the throne of football

  • Gaming companies, competitions, tournaments and organizations, teams, platforms, players, sponsors, and fans make up the world of e-sports. In e-sports, every game and tournament sets-up its own rules.
  • So how did playing games become a sport? Sport is defined as anything that is done by following certain rules and techniques and has the purpose of entertainment or competition. E-sports includes the necessary elements, such as strategic thinking, technical mastery, and competition, to be accepted as a sport. E-sports has federations in more than 45 countries.
  • Those who do e-sports under a license are called professional ‘e-athletes’. As in other sports, one can participate as an amateur or professional. The live final matches of the tournaments are followed with enthusiasm by their fans, just like other sports. In addition, the matches that are broadcast on the live game broadcast website called Twitch, are watched by millions of people.
  • About 20-30 years ago, the “online gaming” topic started with the gradual introduction of the internet into our lives and this laid the foundation for e-sports. In the early 2010’s, the word e-sports started to be used, with leading games such as League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Dota, and Starcraft, e-sports gained recognition.
  • In 2019, e-sports became the second most followed sport in the world after football. Now, young people watch e-sports instead of football.
  • Korea is seen as the home of e-sports, while Germany, Denmark, Sweden, France, England, and Poland take the lead in Europe, and the USA, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and Canada are upcoming countries in e-sports.
  • Worldwide, around 1.2 billion people play online games a day. The world-famous Grand Theft Auto 5 game generated more than 1 billion dollars from game sales.
  • As the interest in this sport increases, it is envisaged that internet infrastructures will develop and even special internet lines will be created for players. Game companies will also produce games that will reach large audiences. Since virtual reality technology has developed, games including physical activity will also be added to e-sports.

E-SPORTS IN NUMBERS

Earns 500 thousand dollars a month from games: Tyler “Ninja” Blevins from the USA is one of the most popular computer gamers in the world. Ninja plays computer games for 12 hours a day and earns over 500,000 dollars a month. Ninja’s live broadcast on Twitch while playing the game Fortnite: Battle Royal is being watched by nearly 15 million followers every day. His personal fortune is estimated at 15 million dollars.

Championship revenues are high: The number of e-sports tournaments and the awards offered in these tournaments have increased enormously in the last 10 years. For example, while 4.1 million dollars were distributed in 655 tournaments in 2009, a total of 4,717 tournaments were held in 2019 and 216.8 million dollars were distributed. Özgür Eker, nicknamed “woxic” from our country, became the highest-earning Turkish e-athlete with 255,700 dollars.

It has approximately 450 million viewers around the world: According to a study, there are approximately 454 million e-sports viewers in the world. The total size of this sector has exceeded one billion dollars. In 2022, it is estimated that the total number of viewers will reach 645 million people and the total income will reach approximately 1.8 billion dollars.

 

The first Turkish e-sports movie ‘İyi Oyun’: “İyi Oyun (Good Game)”, which was released this year, tells the story of a young man named Cenk who finds himself in the professional game world. Directed by Umut Aral, who was the director of Netflix’s first Turkish series ‘Hakan: Muhafız (The Protector)’, the film features famous names such as Mert Yazıcıoğlu, Kerem Bürsin, Afra Saraçoğlu, Yiğit Kirazcı, Hakan Kurtaş, Doğaç Yıldız, Orkun Işıtmak, and Bada Oh Deniz.

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