Esports keep getting bigger and bigger every year, with more countries and cities hosting local and international tournaments. Contestants from all corners of the earth come forward to compete in things that would never have been considered disciplines twenty years ago. Let’s talk about what esports is, as well as what their relationship with Australia is.
It’s easy to play online slots and similar video games – you just read a few online casino reviews and that’s it. But esports are a whole another thing! Esports are multiplayer computer games that are played in competitions. These games are played by professional gamers and rising stars. It is not uncommon for teams and individuals to receive sponsorship from corporations, similar to F1 drivers, basketball players, soccer players, and so on.
More and more nations are coming forward in accepting esports as a type of sport. Since October 2017, esports has received recognition from the Olympics Committee and there has been some talk of incorporating tournaments into future Olympic Games.
Esports tournaments include fighting games (like Street Fighter V), multiplayer online battle arenas (like League of Legends), sports games (NBA 2K), first-person shooters (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive), and strategies (Starcraft).
Drugs and Cheating?
As unlikely as it may seem, gamers have also been known to use performance-enhancing drugs. Substances that potentially increase the concentration and reaction time are invaluable in big tournaments. They are also illegal.
Another issue that is common to other sports disciplines is cheating. It can take many forms, like a program that aims a weapon instead of you, or an irregular controller that responds better than that of your opponent.
Reception and Issues
These days, over two-thirds of Australians play video games. Aussie youth is heavily invested in viewing popular professional players on YouTube and Twitch. The reason so many viewers get interested in watching professional players play video games is searching for tips and tricks on improving their own gameplay, along with pure viewing pleasure some people get from watching a basketball game.
That means that there is a solid potential for a stable market in Australia for gamers, sponsors, tournament hosts, and anyone else involved in the esports industry. And it’s not just esports. We see an increase in how much other sports are relying on technology as well. For example, a rugby team has its own iTeam app for iPhone, which you can read more about just here. For sure, there are many more examples of technology improving sports. There are, however, several issues.
Corporations tend to view esports as a fad, so they are often reluctant to invest in this industry. The market indicates that this trend will be worth over a billion dollars in a few years, but that still fails to impress potential investors. Australia is lagging behind the rest of the world, and not just in terms of sponsorship.
The efficiency with which the internet operates in Australia still needs work, as there are occasional difficulties in playing games competitively. Aussie players sometimes experience lag, game freezing and disconnecting, and other issues which put them in a very unfavorable position during tournaments. Until there is improvement in providing gamers with a stable internet connection, Australia will still have issues while playing against other regions.
In 2013, an organization emerged with the goal of promoting and protecting esports, seeking national recognition for the industry. The Australian Esports Association, or AESA, is a non-profit association and a member of the International Esports Federation (IeSF), which, apart from Australia, also contains groups from over 40 different nations.
To put esports on the Australian map, they follow the news, updates, and major esports events, like the IeSF World Championship. They also develop proper regulation and engagement with the appropriate audiences.