Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Bi-weekly Gamer: Inside the industry

November 30, 2016 by Adam Boyle, staff writer

Millions of people around the globe watch people play video games. To many, watching someone play a virtual game seems unhealthy, unproductive, unusual. To those of us who watch these games, however, it’s something we relate to.

The beauty of esports is that although each game is different, the core draw is the same. Let’s compare esports to traditional sports. All talk of exercise and other differences aside, at the ground level, they are the same thing—a game. Hockey, for example, is a sport in which people watch two teams try to score points against each other using teamwork, skills, and strategy. So is Counter-Strike. Esports draw viewership in much the same way that hockey does—people who are interested in the game, who are competitive themselves, or who have grown up around the game enjoy watching the sport and the clashes between players.

The Bi-weekly Gamer is a column about competitive gaming that appears in every issue of Nexus.

The Bi-weekly Gamer is a column about competitive gaming that appears in every issue of Nexus.

Part of the secret behind esports’ success is how relatable they are to modern culture. Video games have become more and more relatable to people and allow people to connect with others. As children today grow up, they develop around these games and the world around them.

Professional play also draws viewers. Just as sports fans watch, for example, Jose Bautista rise as a phenomenal player in baseball, esports fans also watch people like Bjergsen rise to fame in League of Legends.

Some esports pros take the “villain” approach and trash talk, fight, call out, or present themselves in an evil manner, creating drama and storylines worth following for the fans.

The esports industry may be small now, but as time goes on, the transition will become more apparent for all ages across the world. Time continues, and so too does the innovation of spectator entertainment.

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