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The Rise of Esports


Esports (or electronic sports) is a recent and rising phenomenon breaking onto the sports scene. Players compete against each other solo, or more commonly in teams within a game. Technological advances allow stronger pcs and consoles to be developed, improving the ability of gaming equipment. Higher resolution, high speed internet, and mice with higher touch sensitivity are being produced, allowing for more engaging and fast paced gaming experiences. 

Not only does esports provide an opportunity for those who aren’t as athletically gifted to join a sport, but it thrives off our increasingly interconnected digital world. Surprising many, esports has finally been categorized as a collegiate sport, and top earning players can make millions, like professional Dota 2 player Johan Sundstein who made up to 9 million dollars through esports alone. 

In the 2023 Six Invitational, the prize money was a whopping 3 million which was won by the European team G2 Rainbow 6 division. Companies like G2 have multiple divisions that cover different games like Counter Strike, Fortnite, League of Legends, and other popular games. Esports teams even have designated managers and coaches, just like their physical counterparts. 

Initially starting out as a niche part of the gaming community, esports has grown into something that is recognized on a global scale. Entire stadiums are dedicated to competitions between famous teams for popular games, like the Six Invitational which is held in a different host country every year. Fps (or first person shooter games) are one of the most popular genres of games for esports competitions. Games like Counter Strike, Overwatch, Valorant, Rainbow 6 Siege, and Call of Duty are some notable games. 

Game companies like Ubisoft also hold esports events that allow players to showcase their skills and connect with the community. Sponsorships from major gaming companies like Mercedes-Benz, Samsung, and Redbull bring more funding to further develop esports, allowing professional players to gain an income. Sponsorships further establish esports as a credible and professional field, and give esports exposure to a wider variety of viewers. Major streaming platforms such as Twitch and Youtube allow people from around the world to connect with each other through a shared passion of gaming.

“We see a future for each and every one of our members, in their own unique way. They are brand ambassadors, not just players. There are so many ways they can bring back value to us, everything from taking home the trophy to interacting with the fans and being good role models. That comprehensive approach is a philosophy we feel makes us stand out from many other teams. We’re no strangers to winning, but winning isn’t everything in esports.” – Panda Global CEO Alan Bunney

Esports has emerged as a dynamic and rapidly growing phenomenon within the realm of competitive sports, driven by technological advancements and the interconnectedness of our digital world allowing esports to evolve from a niche community to a global industry. Esports not only provides opportunities for individuals who don’t excel in athleticism but also engages the global audience with competitions in popular games. As we witness the continued growth and integration of esports into mainstream culture, it is clear that its impact will be felt for years to come.


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About the Contributor
Annelise is a senior at Woodlands Academy who is from Colorado. It is her first year as a writer for The Plaid. She likes to walk her dogs Daiyu and Hibana, go snowboarding, and skateboarding.

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