The contradiction of recent years or e-sports as a new phenomenon in the entertainment industry

For many active users of the network, it is not news that in the last 10-15 years, e-sports has received the most powerful development. Many connect the beginning of the era with the release of Quake, but esports got a more meaningful look in the zero years, when under the auspices of the organization WCG (World Cyber ​​Games)qualifying rounds were organized for the then most popular cyber disciplines in many countries of the world with the holding of finals and the issuance of cash prizes. WarCraft 3 TFT, Starcraft: Brood War, CS 1.6, Quake III Arena, FIFA; The games listed above were the main competitive disciplines that were present in the WCG program for the largest share of the time. Since 2000, the WCG project has been sponsored by Samsung, already then visionary to invest in this area. After that, Microsoft also connected to this process. At the moment, the largest eSports sponsors are Asus, Intel, HyperX, Monster Energy and others, but first things first.

What is eSports?


Wikipedia gives the following definition:
ESports (outside the CIS is better known as English e-Sports) - gaming competitions using computer technology, where the computer simulates the virtual space within which the competition takes place.

All computer games, and competitions in them, are divided into several main classes, distinguished by the properties of spaces, models, the game task and the developed game skills of athletes


Until recent years, although the trend has continued, but has begun to decline, e-sports was exclusively in the minds of enthusiasts. Even 10 years ago, computer games, and indeed, the entire sphere of Game Development for many, was something not quite serious. Although the "big uncles" understood that this was a huge market, not mastered by anyone. Wild and uncharted. The development of technologies and data transmission systems, the emergence of the majority of broadband and mobile Internet access have had their say in the development of this industry as well - the borders between players around the world have been completely erased. There are still questions regarding ping to another part of the globe, amounting to 2-3 seconds, but this is exclusively the technical side of the issue, which will somehow be solved in the coming decades.

Although Samsung sponsored the competition for the past 15 years, the prize money was not very large, from several thousand to several tens of thousands of dollars for discipline. And it was a general prize fund, not a prize for first place. More often, players became victims of their own managers, who appropriated the lion's share of the prize for their “organization” and their other movements. It was impossible to earn a living in this area, few received decent money.

An even bigger problem was the lack of spectacular competitive games that were popular enough for professional-level players to appear on their expanses, as well as the inability to broadcast competitions to a wide audience. The author attended the qualifying games of his country as part of the WCG in 2005 (or 2006?), I will say that this was a sad sight, but the scope was already felt.

A few memories:

I remember as if it were just recently. The preliminaries took place in an indoor football arena, the weather was hot, the month was May. The organizers pulled a huge canvas and hung a fairly powerful projector, however, the clarity of the picture left much to be desired, and the room was too light. A platform was built for the audience, seats for 150-200, no more, there are all game lovers and accommodated. The scene, as such, was not there, the players were sitting in separate zones, hidden from view. There were also commentators, because of which a visit to this event was postponed in my memory. I went to see Counter-Strike 1.6, as well as WC3. True, the games didn’t particularly remember me. I was impressed, though, as I remember now, -5 from one of the players, Train card, street. He was left alone, with AWP and USP, if memory serves. He laid down the entire enemy team during the reload time between shots. Fire led in different directions. It was strong and then incomprehensible to me. But when the Starcraft games started, the hall was just blown up. Two were supposed to comment on the games, of course, these people understood in the subject that they were covering. But one of the commentators got sick, so they invited a guy who covered the CS for us before co-casting to help us. As it turned out, he was far from Starcraft, but with fantasy he was doing well. These comments I will never forget. therefore, they invited a guy who covered CS for us before this co-casting to help. As it turned out, he was far from Starcraft, but with fantasy he was doing well. These comments I will never forget. therefore, they invited a guy who covered CS for us before this co-casting to help. As it turned out, he was far from Starcraft, but with fantasy he was doing well. These comments I will never forget.
Scene: The Terrans play against the Zerg. Terran goes to marinas, zerg goes to rush by “dogs”. Clear business, during a meeting the bloody mess begins. Comments of CS caster:

“Here some dogs run on these men in spacesuits. Wow! what carnage begins. Lord, the whole screen is covered in blood! I do not understand what is going on! Just look at that! How much blood! And they say that CS is a cruel game! Here is a cruel game, Lord, it hurts the psyche of children, it must be prohibited! ”The

second caster could only laugh quietly and cover his face with his hands, because he could not stop his“ colleague ”. This guy made that day, definitely.


Jerk


That all changed in the last few years when the justin.tv team launched Twitch.tv. In parallel with this, the Leage Of Legends discipline from Riot games began to gain momentum, Valve began developing Dota 2, a full-fledged custom map project for Warcraft 3 TFT. A new CS was also released - Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. But still, I will give the main role in all this to the Twitch.tv service. Thanks to him, big money finally came to eSports. When manufacturers of accessories and equipment saw that 10-15 thousand people of one language group were watching broadcasts, they began to actively advertise their products, as well as sponsor all kinds of leagues and tournaments. Receiving advertising time and placing their logos during broadcasts, companies gave tens, and now hundreds of thousands of dollars, to form prize pools and organize tournaments. At the moment, hundreds of thousands of people around the world are watching game broadcasts. The industry is growing, keyboards are on sale.
The last major event was Asus ROG, held in Sweden. By the way, some games, in particular, the games of the Swedish Alliance team in Dota 2 discipline, were broadcast on the local popular TV channel, which gives hope for esports to be brought to a new level of production.

The closest significant event for the industry is the annual tournament organized by Valve in the discipline of Dota 2. The company provided $ 1,600,000 in prize money and launched the sale of a special in-game item dedicated to the tournament. 25% of the sales associated with this Valve item are credited to the prize pool. At the moment, thanks to this system, similar in principle to crowdfunding, the community has increased the prize pool to more than $ 10,000,000 and it continues to grow:



It's no secret that Asians look much further than the rest of the world and know how to work for the future. So, in South Korea, e-sports is very prestigious, and in China there is a whole state. eSports development and player support program. In the USA, professional players were equated with ordinary athletes, which makes it easier for them to enter the United States and obtain visas. This industry has already gone beyond the framework of the "game in computer clubs" and moved to a different, qualitatively new level. Campsites are organized for teams, where they live, train and communicate among themselves for months. Many admit that e-sports is essentially no different from classic sports: the same grueling day-to-day training, the search for new solutions,

Also, there is a popular belief that a professional player is some kind of small bespectacled pimple plant that does not live a real life. This is far from the case. A well-known example is Artyom “sLivko” Garavtsov from virtus.pro, Starcraft 2 discipline.



He does not look like a pimple young vegetable.

Problems


However, the industry has a number of problems.

  • Closed community.
  • Lack of infrastructure for training new players.
  • Public rejection.

If eSports is actively struggling with the latter, then the first two points are a serious problem.

To get into the ranks of professionals is almost impossible. At the moment, there is no decent infrastructure for training players and their subsequent entry into the world of e-sports. Rumor has it that Asians have already opened their own training schools for young players, which could lead to another total domination of Asia on the game stage. Now, for the most part, players are left to their own devices. You can assemble a team and go through the Amatorskaya, seven-pro and pro leagues grid, however, the teams do not have any kind of support. In the same discipline, Dota 2 is easier to be a top player in the ranking and get an invitation to play stand-in (player to replace approx.), As it was with the current player AdmiralBulldog from the Alliance (he was noticed by Natus Vincere player Daniel Dendi Ishutin during games in the "pub"), or Excalibur, who is now acting as a substitute in the Fnatic EU team, than to break through the “filter” of amateur tournaments. Professional players are a closed club of old friends and acquaintances who have been playing for many years and you will not often see new faces here.
The opening of professional training schools is also not expected, because this requires financing, which simply does not exist. The tech giants still have enough sponsorship for existing teams and players, and the government is not interested in this segment (except Korea and China).

However, e-sports is still young and causes a negative reaction in the majority of the population. To break this trend is very, very difficult. For players, people who are passionate about a certain discipline, e-sports broadcasts have already become something of akin to football, however, very many are still very skeptical about professional activities in this area.
An openly aggressive attitude of a certain category of citizens also creates a very big problem. As the saying goes, there would be a reason, and we will make a fire. Everything is used: from zombies and unconvincing arguments in terms of “make money for you!” (As if we ourselves did not know), up to conspiracy of masons and reptilians, in the best traditions of REN-TV, against the younger generation. A huge number of people eSports is perceived as some kind of harmful waste of time, not just aimless, but extremely destructive. Such people consider it their duty to express their opinion and prove to others that even husking seeds at the entrance is more productive than trying to achieve at least a semi-pro level in any discipline. The problem is that such an attitude of individuals greatly undermines the reputation of the industry as a whole. There were precedents when parents following public opinion, they did not allow promising young children to play professionally, considering their hobby harmful. Not so long ago, in a similar situation, one of the 17-year-old American players secretly went to the LAN finals, where he played first place when playing as a substitute. It seems to be still playing.

You won’t feed yourself with computer games.
Everyone who played heard this phrase.
For most, this is a harsh reality at the moment. Without visible support from the state, this segment will remain in a semi-artisanal state, although e-sports is the most promising phenomenon in the entertainment industry at the moment. Spectacular, dynamic and constantly evolving, because of its revolutionism, is not recognized as a huge part of the world's population. So far, the lion's share of collectives rests on private financing. Players are paid salaries, organized campsites for them. How the prizes are divided remains a mystery, however, most organizations insist that they make money on partnership programs with technology giants, read, on advertising, and are also supported by private investors. By the way, the deception on the part of the players' organizations, quite possibly, is still ongoing.An example of such a drama is here .
By the way, many professional players after their careers find themselves in related fields: tournament casting, game design, become coaches and team managers. Players have a future, but it is still vague and uncertain.

Perhaps in ten or two years the children will hear such a phrase:

“Son, why are you going to walk, or are you watching a movie?” I’d sit down and play at the computer. ”

Well, for dessert, a Valve documentary about professional players. For LoL lovers, I’ll say that if such a film were made about the players in LoL, it would be. But what is not, is not. Sort of.


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