Industries and entrepreneurs can be counted on to flock to the most lucrative, up-and-coming fields. Follow the trends of these people today and you’ll see that the tech sector is the be all and end all. Slowly but surely, the world is heading towards computerization. From the growth of digital marketing to the continued advancements in virtual reality, society is blithely accepting the digitization of humanity. The Information Age is, in a word, transformative.
The Age of ESports
For the video and computer game obsessed, this social metamorphosis is steering people squarely into their realm. Professional competitive gaming is the perfect example. The booming business – called ESports – has a massive global following, 191 million enthusiasts according to market research firm Newzoo. A rabid community of fans exists on Twitch, fuelling the popularity of this relatively new virtual pastime. Finally, fringe-culture is becoming the norm.
The Passion of the Fans
The nature of ESports’ fiercely dedicated following has mandated a few changes to the tried-and-true formula applied to major sports (i.e. football, basketball, rugby); traditional announcers have been scrapped for popular streamers, and many fans can’t be bothered to buy event tickets, choosing instead to watch a free live-stream via Twitch, YouTube Gaming, Hitbox, or Mirrativ. Truly passionate viewers are likely watching from the comfort of their own battlestations – a coin termed to describe a desktop computer setup often used for playing games. Curious? Head over to the Reddit’s /battlestations to get an up close view of some personal computer setups.
Gaming begets an age-old argument: console vs. PC. Regardless of personal opinion, the proof is in the pudding. Console systems offer simplicity, ease of use, mobility, and come with a lower price tag. However, PCs are totally customizable, upgradable (buy new parts rather than a new device), compatible with controllers, capable of carrying out advanced functions (such as photo-editing and art production), and have better components. Data gathered in 2015 by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) shows that PCs outrank consoles as the top devices gamers use to play games, 62% and 56% respectively. ESA’s data highlights the growing popularity of interactive gaming with 39% of frequent gamers spending their time playing social games. Social games, or multiplayer games, are the only games covered by ESports.