Category Archives: Gaming

esports Taking Off

e-sports is taking off!

PBS video about the phenomenon (from 2013)
Wikipedia talks about the phenomenon here:

Electronic sports (also known as eSports, e-sports or competitive gaming) is a term for organized multiplayer video game competitions. The most common video game genres associated with electronic sports are real-time strategy, fighting, first-person shooter, and multiplayer online battle arena. Tournaments such as the League of Legends World Championship, The International Dota 2 Championships, the World Championship Series, the Evolution Championship Series, the Intel Extreme Masters, and the Call Of Duty World Championship, provide both live broadcasts of the competition, and cash prizes to competitors.

Although e-sports have long been a part of video game culture, competitions have seen a large surge in popularity from the late 2000s and early 2010s. While competitions around 2000 were largely between amateurs, the proliferation of professional competitions and growing viewership now supports a significant number of professional players and teams,[1] and many video game developers now build features into their games designed to facilitate such competition.

The increasing availability of online video streaming platforms, particularly, has become central to current eSports competitions.[2] In 2014, sports broadcaster ESPN broadcast the The International 4 pre-show for the finals, marking the first time an eSports event had been simultaneously broadcast on a mainstream channel.[3]

Historically, fighting games and arcade fighters have been popular in amateur tournaments, although the fighting game community has often distanced themselves from the eSports label.[4] In 2012, the most popular titles featured in professional competition were real time strategy and multiplayer online battle arena games Dota 2, League of Legends, and StarCraft II.[5] Shooting games like Counter Strike and Call of Duty have enjoyed some success as eSports, although their viewer numbers have remained below those of their competitors.[6]

Geographically, eSports competitions have their roots in developed countries.[original research?] South Korea has the best established eSports organizations, officially licensing pro-gamers since the year 2000.[7] Official recognition of eSports competitions outside South Korea has come somewhat slower. In 2013, Canadian League of Legends player Danny “Shiphtur” Le became the first pro-gamer to receive a United States P-1A visa, a category designated for “Internationally Recognized Athletes”.[8][9][undue weight? – discuss] Along with South Korea, most competitions take place in Europe, North America, Australia and China.

Despite its large video game market, eSports in Japan is relatively underdeveloped, which has been attributed largely to its broad anti-gambling laws.[10] In 2014, the largest independent eSports brand, ESL, partnered with the local eSports brand Japan Competitive Gaming to try and grow eSports in the country.[11]
In 2013, it was estimated that approximately 71,500,000 people watched competitive gaming.[12] JCR NOTE: 143 million shown below. Demographically, Major League Gaming has reported viewership that is approximately 85% male and 15% female, with 60% of viewers between the ages of 18 and 34.[13] Related this appreciable male majority, female gamers within the industry are subject to significant sexism and negative stereotypes.[14] Despite this, some women within eSports are hopeful about the general progress in overcoming these problems.[15][16]


The “e” version of ESPN is here (they call it the e-sports community hub). They call it ESN. Here is what they say about themselves:

eSportsNation is the world’s leading source for competitive gaming content, coverage and multimedia services. We aim to inform you, and preferably, sometimes, entertain you along the way. Our mission is to help build memorable and fruitful experiences around the competitive gaming fanbase and their passions. The eSportsNation online community hub provides a centralised network to connect with content, coverage and services instantly.
ESN is about three things: high quality and speedy reporting, competitive gaming culture, and building a real connection that bridges fans to professionals in this space.We hope that you enjoy the content that our dedicated and talented team brings you on a wide variety of professionally played titles and the surrounding community, and industry.
Welcome to the next generation of eSports.:

Esports Nation

Super Data Research completed a global report on esports and reports the following:


Key findings of the report include:
• Korea and China continue to dominate $612M global eSports market. The ongoing investment in N. America and Europe by digital-only publishers drives overall growth and audience expansion.
• The global eSports audience is 134 million strong and growing. Investment in innovative business models, platforms and derivative businesses further spurs growth in competitive gaming.
• Competitive gaming is a marketing strategy, not a revenue driver. In addition to traditional marketing efforts, organizing events and streaming content improves awareness and retention.
• Thirteen percent (13%) of live-stream viewers watch eSports. Almost half of eSports viewers in the U.S. use, the world’s largest live streaming site for game content. Roughly half of eSports viewers participate in some type of competitive gaming, mostly online through platforms.
• Corporate sponsorships total $111 million in North America (2015E). Brand owners and advertisers are expected to adapt to emergent forms of entertainment, which will grow sponsorship deals across the segment.


• Age of Empires Call of Duty Counter-Strike CrossFire Defense of the Ancients Dota 2 FIFA Halo Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft Heroes of Newerth iRacing League of Legends Painkiller Quake Smite StarCraft Street Fighter Super Smash Bros. Warcraft III (List) World of Warcraft World of Tanks


• Apex World Championship Series BlizzCon Capcom Cup DreamHack Electronic Sports World Cup ESEA League European Gaming League Evolution Championship Series Garena Premier League Global StarCraft II League Global StarCraft II Team League IeSF World Championships Intel Extreme Masters League of Legends Championship Series League of Legends Pro League League of Legends World Championship Major All Stars Major League Gaming NASCAR Series Nintendo World Championships The International

• Championship Gaming Series ClanBase EuroCup Cyberathlete Professional League MBCgame Starleague Ongamenet Starleague Tougeki – Super Battle Opera World Cyber Games World e-Sports Games World League eSport Bundesliga XLEAGUE.TV

• Twin Galaxies Cyberathlete Amateur League TeamWarfare League World Series of Video Games

Governing bodies
• International e-Sports Federation (IeSF) Korean e-Sports Association (KeSPA)


Wired magazine discusses some of the strategic issues related to the replacement of cable services by streaming services



This wikipedia article on the Internet Protocol points out some of the problems that e-orts faces when it sits on the Internet platform:

Wikipedia on Internet Protocol

The design of the Internet protocols is based on the end-to-end principle. The network infrastructure is considered inherently unreliable at any single network element or transmission medium and assumes that it is dynamic in terms of availability of links and nodes. No central monitoring or performance measurement facility exists that tracks or maintains the state of the network. For the benefit of reducing network complexity, the intelligence in the network is purposely mostly located in the end nodes of data transmission. Routers in the transmission path forward packets to the next known, directly reachable gateway matching the routing prefix for the destination address.
As a consequence of this design, the Internet Protocol only provides best effort delivery and its service is characterized as unreliable.


ABC News segment on esports
ABC News

Part of NYT Series on eSports:
New York Times 1

Part of NYT Series on eSports:
New York Times 2

Fortune Magazine

Viewership Comps:
Viewership Comps

Interview Regarding Coke’s Involvement in eSports:
Coke’s Involvement in Esports

VentureBeat Article:
Venture Beat Article

Two high profile startups. Plenty of good articles on these online… – esports fantasy league – esports betting

Founded by Rahul Sood and Karl Flores, Unikrn is a gaming and entertainment company with a focus on eSports. We own a network of gaming communities that reach millions of gamers in over 100 countries worldwide. We created a safe, legal, and a fun arena for anyone to gather, game, and bet on eSports. Some of our partners include Razer, HP, Logitech, and Tabcorp.

Rahul Sood
CEO & Co Founder
Rahul created the first incubation fund for startups at Microsoft and eventually became the global head of Microsoft Ventures. A serial entrepreneur, he founded the company that created the first gaming PC, Voodoo, which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard. Rahul enjoys water sports, cycling, racing cars, and spending time with his family. You’ll find him in Summoner’s Rift somewhere in the jungle.

Karl Flores
COO & Co Founder
From high school drop-out to bartender, Karl is living proof that a strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit can replace a formal education. After founding and exiting a successful enterprise SaaS company, Karl created a game based company called Pinion, where he received investment from Microsoft under Rahul Sood. When he is not hitting the gym, you will find him ruling bottom lane with Riot Graves – beware!

Arthur Stelmach
GM of Digital Media
From a young age some might say Arthur was obsessed with all things digital. He learned to build his own PC before learning to ride a bike. The trend continued, as he grew older. Today you will find him at the Unikrn office being a keyboard warrior by day and armature e-ninja by night.

Daniel Rudolph
Daniel dove into the tech industry the day he was old enough to sign a contract. He co-founded a company along-side Rahul and a few other friends in 2008. He lives in Berlin and for the past decade has been busy applying his skills to help enable startups with bold visions and ambitious goals to be successful. When he is not at a computer, he is busy playing father and husband.

Couple of other articles about esports
27 million watched this video game tournament — matching NCAA final audience

Second US College Now Offering eSports Scholarship