E-Sports gaining popularity

Cedric Peoples, Distribution Manager/Archivist

A $24.7 million prize pool. 10.9 million peak concurrent viewers. 90 players from 18 teams competing for the title of “Best Team in the World.” To many, this may sound like any number of events. This is actually a tournament called The International 2017 for the popular PC video game Dota 2, created and organized by Valve.
Dota 2 is a large part of the fast-growing trend of e-sports. E-sports is the term used to describe competitive tournaments of video games, usually played by professional gamers. E-sports as a whole has been growing for years. In previous years, it rivaled more popular sports like basketball, golf, and baseball and is now threatening to overtake them in popularity.
According to an article on ESPN by Ben Casselman wrote in 2015, the International 2015 drew 4.6 million viewers during the final match while the League of Legends (a popular PC video game by Riot Games and the most popular of all e-sports events) had an online audience of 27 million while also selling out the 40,000-seat World Cup Stadium in Seoul. In comparison, the final round of the Masters had 25 million TV viewers, the NBA finals had 15.5 million, and the World Series had 13.8 million (These all dwarf to the 111.2 million TV viewers of the Superbowl: America really loves their football).
In 2017, there were 111.9 million who watched the Superbowl, 20.4 million watched the NBA finals (24.5 on game 5!), game 5 of the World Series had 19 million, 11.2 million peak viewers in the Masters. To contrast, the 2016(the 2017 final is still ongoing as of me writing this) League of Legends world’s final had 36 million viewers(with 334 million unique viewers over the course of the 4-week tournament) and The 2017 Internation had 10.9 million peak concurrent viewers.
As far as prize money goes, The International 2017 had a $10,862,683 cash prize for the winning team Team Liquid, which consisted of 5 players ($2,172,536.6 per player).  Each of 53 players on the New England Patriots received $107,000 for winning the Superbowl ($5,671,000 total). These statistics show that, although not as well received, e-sports is a big deal and is only growing.
Maybe being a nerd really is better than being a jock after-all.
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