*I translate a Japanese article into English
What is eSports?
eSports (Electronic Sports) is a name used when a computer game or video game played by multiple players is considered as a sporting event.
eSports is said to have been born from an event (LAN party) in which each person brings a personal computer to the venue and plays a game with their faces facing each other.
In Europe and the United States, since the late 1990s, competitions with high prize money have been held in various parts of the world. Some of the participants are amateurs and professional gamers with annual income exceeding 100 million yen .
eSports competition population
The competition population is said to be about 130 million people worldwide, and according to a 2017 survey, more than 385 million people worldwide watch eSports.
In the World League of Legends held in May 2018, the maximum number of simultaneous viewers is 19.8 million.
The number of unique viewers reached 60 million.
By the way, the maximum number of viewers in the League of Legends Japan League (2018) is about 120,000.
Competition population ranking
Let’s take a look at the world’s competitive population ranking.
1st Basketball 450 million
2nd Football 250 million
3rd Cricket 100 million
4th Tennis 100 million
5th League of Legends 90 million
6th Golf 65 million
7th Baseball 30 million
“League of Legends”, the most played game in the world, has a game population of about 90 million (active users per month).
This is ranked 5th in the world competitive population ranking. Considering that the baseball game population, which is a major sport in Japan, is about 30 million, this is an amazing number.
By the way, “League of Legends” and “Starcraft 2” are recognized as professional sports, and athlete visas necessary for entry are issued. The same applies to Japan.
Standing position of eSports in Japan
Although eSports is expanding rapidly all over the world, it must be said that it is behind in Japan.
There are various factors, but the biggest factor is “low social status of games in Japan”.
In Japan, games are still only seen as one of leisure.
There are a lot of people who think that it’s just about playing.
People who feel resistance to the word eSports are thought to be affected by this sense.
“The game is a sport …”
There may be many people who have heard or feel such words.
In Japan, it is often regarded as “sports = exercise”, but in modern sports it has the meaning of “sports = competition”.
There is also the word mind sports.
Chess and poker are recognized overseas, and shogi and go are recognized in Japan.
eSports translates directly to electronic competition.
In order for eSports to spread in Japan, it may be necessary to start with cognitive reform.
About pro gamers and prize money
There is a word that is almost 100% probable when talking about eSports.
It’s ” Pro Gamer ” and ” Prize Money “.
Players with outstanding skills around the world contract with companies to practice and practice daily as professional gamers.
The factor that makes it possible is that companies protect the lives of athletes.
There are many teams that provide both physical and mental support, not only financially, but also renting the property and developing it as a gaming house.
In Japan, a team with a monthly salary system has finally emerged.
There are few gaming houses.
A few years ago, even with contracts with manufacturers, there were many things such as only providing devices such as mice and keyboards, but the grounds for establishing a professional gamer profession are being made.
“Prize at the World Tournament over ¥ 100 million! ”
“Pro gamers with annual income exceeding 100 million yen! ? ”
Recently I have come across such words often.
Certainly, big prizes are attractive to gamers.
But, of course, only the top few teams can win prizes.
Without daily support from contracting companies, it is impossible to build a team.
You can’t become strong in an environment that doesn’t work as a team, that is, you can’t put it into the game.
Until now, the game environment was not in place, and there were infinitely few opportunities for Japanese teams to participate in the world tournament.
However, results are being produced as the environment is improved.
If eSports in the Japanese market continues to grow, there will be a day when large-scale world competitions are held in Japan.