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Hot Take of the Day: Esports Rocks

First toilet paper, now this.



Photo credit: Patar Knight/Wikipedia

Disclaimer: I am a nerd.

The rise of esports has riled up many #olds in this fine country with most hollering, “How is that a sport if they ain’t sweatin?”

Now, should professional gamers be called athletes? I don’t know and I honestly don’t care. Once people get past that they’ll find a solid form of entertainment.

I never got into Fortnite. Its rise to prominence came my junior year of college, I was busy and I just never found the time until it was ridiculously big. So with that said, I’m going to base most of my take on the game League of Legends.

I’m not going to take the amount of words it would take to describe the game, but the basis of it is it’s a five on five game with the goal of destroying the other team’s base. With major leagues in North America, Europe, China and South Korea, League of Legends is the biggest esport on the planet. You might be thinking? Well that probably isn’t a hard thing to do, but let’s take a gander at just how big the esports industry is.

The world finals were held in Paris in 2019 where Europe’s G2 Esports lost to China’s FunPlus Phoenix in a sold-out 20,000-seat arena. Selling out a 20,000-seat venue might have already raised some eyebrows to the uninitiated on esports, but wait for this.

The broadcast peaked at 40 million concurrent viewers. During the entire world tournament, there were more than a billion (with a b) hours of content watched.

Do I have your attention now? This is a legitimate business. If you watched that short video, you might have seen logos for Mastercard and Louis Vuitton as sponsors for the event. In 2016, League of Legends earned $2.9 billion (again with a b) in revenue in 2016, according to Forbes.

I could go on and talk about all the investors or how much the top players make (it’s a lot) or the fact that events have sold out Staples Center and the Bird’s Nest in Bejing (an outdoor track and field venue made for the 2008 summer Olympics), but I think you all get the point.

I’m not saying you have to enjoy esports, but it’s more than garnered respect at this point. People need to stop having the argument on whether it’s a sport or not and start looking at it as what it definitely is: the future.


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