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The rise of eSports has taken by surprise the professional and traditional sport, which has had to incorporate them gradually, will it be the sport of the future?
Electronic sports, known in English as eSports, have been present for decades since they have generated skills since the origins of video games. However, just one of its most important moments in history, where technological advances, the number of video games, competitions and players have created a great revolution in entertainment and sports, a fact that has accelerated in the last decade.
Leer en español: Gamers: de la afición al deporte profesional
Beyond a stereotype
When talking about videogames, it is common to think about the clichés of those who practice them: people with obesity, not very social, poorly nourished, obsessive, among others, but the AS site rules out that this is real in this century. These prejudices have been what has held back the recognition as professional athletes to eSports players. However, the same Spanish site gives examples of other sports whose development depends entirely on the mind and not directly on physical effort: poker and especially chess are examples of sports where the mind is everything.
Going further, the wear of an athlete of any traditional discipline is just as intense as that of an eSports player, according to a study by the Deutsche Sporthochschule, the German School of Sports located in Cologne. The life of an athlete of eSports is very similar to that of a "traditional" athlete because although the most important part is mental, they also have to keep in shape exercising every day, in addition to maintaining a healthy diet that allows them to perform enough.
The practice of electronic sports is usually considered solitary, but the reality is that professionals in this area are surrounded by a team. AS highlights sports coaches, analysts, and psychologists, professionals who are also present in other non-electronic sports.
The fans of eSports
If something has understood Paris 2024 well is that approaching youth is something necessary, hence its proposal to include breakdance as part of the Olympic program. Although eSports are still far from that, the truth is that they have exploited their biggest market: young people, who in addition to practicing electronic sports are also big consumers of the products associated with them: consoles, video game titles, sporting events, and conventions, among others.
The Neo Magazine highlights the number of fans in Latin America: 23.7 million followers in 2018 of the 191 that exist worldwide. He emphasized Mexico and Brazil as the two Latin American countries with the most fans, according to data from Newzoo, a leading company in the world of video games.
The countries of Latin America have entered fully into the competition. On the one hand, several soccer teams have created eSports teams, among which are River Plate, Boca Juniors, America, Guadalajara, Once Caldas, Cienciano, among others in the region, according to their official sites.
Some have given the opportunity to professional players fully recognized as such, others give the opportunity to fans who take the reins of the clubs to represent them in virtual competitions, that is, the fans manage to be closer to their teams at least in this modality, which supports the purpose of bringing young people to sports.
Recognition as a professional sport
The Country of Colombia ensures that the global eSports market moved an amount close to $ 1,500 million dollars between 2017 and 2018. With a huge number of fans and large sums in its market, electronic sports could hardly be left out of the market. professionalism. Countries such as China, Germany, the United States, among many others, have recognized players and content creators as professionals, according to information from Marca and AS.
Among the benefits for players is access to support previously reserved only for "traditional" athletes, support in competitions abroad, special visas as athletes, reduction in tax burdens, in addition to the government is forced to create a legal framework that protects the activities of these new athletes, according to information from AS.
In Latin America, the case of Mexico that has created a federation of eSports stands out, in addition to the courses taught at universities in Mexico, Colombia, and Argentina where new players are trained professionally.
The investment made to this industry is growing, two examples show how eSports grow in an accelerated way. First, the F1 driver, Fernando Alonso, has announced the creation of his own tournament, based on the experience generated by his team, the FA Racing Logitech G, which participates in the main European competitions and which is formed by pilots and professional players, as the AS site highlights.
The second example comes from Japan, Marca reported on the construction of a 12-story building that serves as an eSports center. The Japanese consider that they are at a disadvantage compared to the Americans and the Europeans, so they are strongly committed to being at the forefront, looking for the building, driven by the company Konami, to bring fans to the best of technology and sports, especially with the Tokyo games very close aiming to be a point of reference for those who will visit the country.
LatinAmerican Post | Luis Angel Hernández Liborio
Translated from "Gamers: de la afición al deporte profesional"