Video games: the new global spectator sport

by Toby Manhire / 24 January, 2013
Multimillion-dollar prize pools, huge crowds, and excitable commentators - "e-sports" are on the ascendant.
Deep Sea Kog'Maw from League of Legends.


Video games are becoming a spectator sport.

“Professional gaming, or e-sports, exploded in popularity in the US and Europe last year,” reports the New Scientist.

Already, top players in Asia have attained superstar status, “earning six-figure salaries and competing for rock-star glory”.

And they’re catching up in the west, as illustrated by last October’s world championship of League of Legends, “a team-based game in which players defend respective corners of a fantasy-themed battle arena”.

All of it comes complete with league tables, fan favourites, and hoarse, excitable commentators.

The Los Angeles event boasted a prize pool of $5 million, and attracted an audience of more than eight million on TV and online - “a figure that dwarfs audience numbers for broadcasts of many traditional sports fixtures”.

Daft? Not so fast, cautions the New Scientist in an editorial in the same edition.

Players are often extraordinarily skilful and tournaments can be as gripping as any major sporting eventIt is worth remembering that today's spectator sports evolved from pastimes that people also happened to enjoy watching. Sports are just combinations of made-up rules, often absurd, designed for one purpose: to produce a compelling contest. Why can't video games grab a slice of that action?


Try this for size:

MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

Jacinda Ardern: Government's focus turns to '300-day plan'
86114 2018-01-22 06:38:40Z Politics

Jacinda Ardern: Government's focus turns to '300-d…

by Mei Heron

Labour's caucus meets for the first time this year, with the PM saying there are still policies to be finalised for the govt's first 100 days.

Read more
New Zealanders have long loved a good ghost story
86094 2018-01-22 00:00:00Z History

New Zealanders have long loved a good ghost story

by Redmer Yska

We New Zealanders are known for being down to earth and no-nonsense, but there's a surprising number of Kiwi stories with a supernatural element.

Read more
How to avoid burnout at work
86051 2018-01-22 00:00:00Z Psychology

How to avoid burnout at work

by Marc Wilson

Taking positive steps at work will help keep weariness at bay.

Read more
A puppy-buyer's guide to getting a new dog
86100 2018-01-21 00:00:00Z Social issues

A puppy-buyer's guide to getting a new dog

by Sally Blundell

Just saying “oh, how adorable” is not all you need to do before taking on a new dog.

Read more
Tarawera eruption: What was the mysterious ghost canoe?
86076 2018-01-21 00:00:00Z History

Tarawera eruption: What was the mysterious ghost c…

by Dale Williams

For more than 130 years, lovers of ghost stories have enjoyed talking about one of our most enduring mysteries: the Phantom Canoe of Lake Tarawera.

Read more
How to get the health benefits of nuts without the cost
85733 2018-01-21 00:00:00Z Nutrition

How to get the health benefits of nuts without the…

by Jennifer Bowden

You need 30g of nuts a day to maximise their health benefits. Here's some tips on how to do it without putting a hole in your wallet.

Read more
Model car collector Winton Amies: 'I'm just a big kid collecting toys'
84783 2018-01-21 00:00:00Z Life in NZ

Model car collector Winton Amies: 'I'm just a big …

by Guy Frederick

When Amies moved to Naseby’s old butcher shop 22 years ago, he brought 1200 model cars with him; now he has more than 3000.

Read more
Trade Me bans sale of pugs, British and French bulldogs
86110 2018-01-20 10:49:32Z Business

Trade Me bans sale of pugs, British and French bul…

by Sally Blundell

As a result of growing concern over the welfare of pugs, British and French bulldogs, Trade Me has announced they're banning the sale of these breeds.

Read more