Top 5 E-Sports Facts

We could easily make a list of the Top 10 Ways Professional E-Sports Are Just Like Other Pro Sports. But it's a crappy title, so we won't. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts. In today's instalment we're taking a look at the fast-paced and still relatively new world of professional competitive gaming, and counting down 5 the highest-scoring facts. Find out how great eyesight, elderly bodies and athlete visas are helping a new realm of sports take off.
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Top 5 E-Sports Facts


We could easily make a list of the Top 10 Ways Professional E-Sports Are Just Like Other Pro Sports. But it’s a crappy title, so we won’t. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts. In today’s instalment we’re taking a look at the fast-paced and still relatively new world of professional competitive gaming, and counting down 5 the highest-scoring facts.

#5: There Are Over 134 Million E-Sports Fans Globally


That figure came from SuperData Research in May 2015. The biggest market is still Asia, but the North American market is growing quickly. Events are held in packed stadiums and even streamed on the American cable sports network ESPN. It’s grown a lot since the first big competitive gaming tournament held in 1980, Atari’s Space Invaders Championship, and the relatively minor competitive arcade game craze of the 80s. The very first recorded tournament was held in 1972 at Stanford University for the game Spacewar! The prize was a nifty one year subscription to Rolling Stone. Nowadays, with the eyes of the internet watching, the stakes are a little bit higher.

#4: E-Athletes Train Hard


Who doesn’t like playing their favourite game, right? It takes enormous dedication to go from playing a few hours on the weekend to the big leagues. Professional gaming teams often live together and practice together for at least six, and often more like ten hours per day. Add to that commitments that they have to their corporate sponsors–things like attending promotional events or playing live on the company’s Twitch channel– and it’s more than a full-time job, it’s an all-encompassing lifestyle. Gaming the way they do takes incredible focus and a massive amount of mental activity. The resulting fatigue is a big part of why e-athletes tend to retire from the sport well before the age of 30.

#3: Pro Gamers Are Eligible for Athlete Visas


In 2013, the U.S. Government issued P-1A visas, which are reserved exclusively for internationally recognized athletes, to professional competitive gamers for the first time. It was seen by many as an overdue legitimization of the sport; not only did the sport have fans around the world, governing bodies and corporate sponsorships, it now finally had acknowledgement from probably the most powerful government on the planet. In South Korea, the world’s most developed pro gaming market, one university has actually started accepting serious video gamers into their Department of Sport Science, alongside golfers, swimmers, and baseball players.

#2: E-Athletes Have Great Eyesight and Elderly Bodies


In 2010, researchers from the University of Essex examined several professional e-athletes to determine what effect many hours of gaming had on them physically, especially when compared to regular pro athletes. They discovered that while their mental acuity was on par with professional athletes and their visual reaction times rivaled those of fighter pilots, the comparisons ended there. One of the gamers even appeared young, thin, and healthy, but had the lung function and aerobic fitness of a sixty year old smoker. Increasingly though, players are recognizing the value of keeping fit, and some teams incorporate physical activity into their daily regimen.

#1: The David Beckham of E-Sports Makes Nearly $1 Million Per Year


Carlos “ocelote” Rodriguez has been called the David Beckham of e-sports for the way he can, like the British footballer, turn his middling level of talent into a personality-driven branding machine. He supplements his League of Legends tournament winnings with sponsorship deals, and revenue from the streaming of his games. Just like other pro sports, though perhaps to a lesser degree, e-sports have big money behind them. The latest edition of Valve’s annual Dota 2 tournament, The International, had a prize pool of over $18 million USD, and the winning team took home more than $6 million of that. In what other sport could a 15 year-old kid from Pakistan like Sumail Hassan take home an international title and a $1.3 million cheque?


So, what do you think is the coolest thing about pro gaming? I mean, other than the fact that they’re making a living playing video games. For more at-least-6-hours-a-day Top 10s and don’t-quit-your-day-job Top 5s, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.

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