Every sport develops its own unique culture wherever it is played, from the biggest such as football and basketball, to the more niche such as darts and bowling. However as the cultures evolve with the game, some regions become standout in the way they perform on a global level. New Zealand will always have great Rugby players and the US will always have great basketball players, but within eSports the lines become somewhat blurred as global competition happens on a daily basis. We’ll take a look at how the culture in some countries have managed to shape and develop eSports into what football is for South America.
To take over the spot of the big traditional sports will always be a tough ask – some have become such a deep part of a culture that it’s the norm, but as eSports has grown, it has been able to adopt many things that make the big sports what they are. With the help of online streaming platforms, the very best have been able to become standout and are superstars of their own right, events are growing and with them are the prize pools that are being offered giving people a way to make a living. As the games being played themselves have grown, so have areas around them – the bookies have capitalised, and the array of betting markets offered by these operators at SBO is in-line with the number of markets offered on traditional sports events. Operators are starting to find their footing, as people are finding an alternative way to show support to their favourite teams and to win a little something for themselves – viewership numbers going through the roof each year as millions join in the online interactive streams where they’re able to directly connect with their favourite stars, and the franchises that were found in the NBA and football are starting to find their way into eSports with organisations, with the bigs like FC Schalke and Golden Guardians picking up their own teams. But where did this get its start?
South Korea is definitely one of the regions at the center – video games as a whole are considered to be a major social activity without stigma attached, the younger generation can grow up with the aspiration to be a professional electronic athlete and it’s very much considered a viable option to those who are talented enough to make it to the top. The openness has allowed the country with a medium sized pool of professional eSport athletes to become one of the top earners across all platforms and games.
Scandinavia as a region has also managed to set the bar in this regard – with Sweden representing the biggest group of players. Home to some of the biggest gaming events of the year such as Dreamhack, and Copenhagen Games in Denmark, following a passion in gaming has been something socially acceptable since the early nineties. Games such as DoTA and Counter-Strike had such a huge following in this part of the world that even today in the modern titles for these games, many of the top players and the top teams are represented from Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
China has always performed well in highly technical sports – they have a history of strong gymnastics and medal well in sporting events at the olympics such as shooting. Largely attributed to an incredible work ethic, Chinese athletes will dedicate themselves to the perfection of whatever they choose to do, and this has translated incredibly well into their growing eSport market. With their most accomplished eSport athletes boasting earnings in the millions of dollars, it’s easy to see why many pursue this as a career.
As popularity continues to grow, and the culture for online gaming develops globally, it’ll be an interest to many to see the shift from regular sports viewership, and the evolution in to eSport viewership.