The growing eSports culture among us

Photo shows the final of the League Championship Series (LCS) for the first European division of the video game ‘League of Legends’ in Paris. — AFP Photo

THERE used to be a time when people thought that playing computer games was just a waste of time.

Today, however, it is estimated that there are 148 million electronic sports or ‘eSports’ enthusiasts worldwide, with that number expected to grow to 286 million by 2020, according to the ‘2017 Global eSports Market Report’ by Newzoo, a leading provider of market intelligence covering the global games, eSports, and mobile markets.

Not only that, by 2020, the eSports industry is expected to generate up to US$1.5 billion globally, in terms of total revenues from media rights, advertising, sponsorship, merchandise and tickets, as well as publisher fees.

South Korea, America, Germany, China, Canada and Denmark are among the developed countries where eSports are growing at a rapid pace.

Sarawak is no exception to this global phenomenon as more and more people in the state are gaining interest in eSports.

In 2015, a body for electronic sports in Malaysia – eSports Malaysia (eSM) – set up a branch in Sarawak to help support the growing scene in the state.

The growth of the local scene is witnessed through the increasing number of ‘Dota 2’ tournaments regularly organised for gamers.

Apart from the fact that the sector looks set to become one of the most lucrative sports in modern times, eSports have also proven to be beneficial in other aspects as well.

A study conducted by research team firm Foundry10 found that eSports brings cognitive benefits, as gamers are said to keep track of various objects better than most people.

For example, as with most games in eSports, Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena game that requires more than one member in a team; as such it enhances teamwork, communication skills, critical thinking and mental jousting, quick reflexes and strategising skills.

With the industry growing every year, more and more people are looking at eSports as a serious career even though it is a new and unconventional choice.

While not all of you will end up as successful professional gamers, you can find other rewarding careers in the eSports industry such as analysts, game developers, marketing and sales executives, social media personnel, event managers, broadcasting and production crew, as well as agents.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES!-an initiative driven by Faradale-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak-to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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