Aside from learning to not compare local eSports in South Korea to arguably the most popular sports team ever assembled in my other post, as it wasn’t a very close comparison, and watching State of Play most of the people in the documentary were in there late teens and early twenties struggling to try get to the top of eSports, while the dream team were already at the top of their world and were looking for something to do in their down time. Not a great start on my part.
Looking back I can definitely see the cultural differences between professional sports in America and the rise of eSports in South Korea. Funding is a big issue between the two, as the Dream team was filled up with NBA players who could afford to stay in 5 star hotels and travel on private jets and have private buses everywhere they went, as to Everyone shown in State of Play is living in share houses and sleeping on mats on the floor or sharing a room with four other people and travelling around South Korea in beat up vehicles.
After getting up and actually doing some research into this topic, it might not be very long until eSports surpasses traditional sports in terms of popularity and funding, as many eSports competitions these days a racking up prize pools that are hitting 6 figures. For example, League of Legends has only been around since 2009 and is already one of the biggest games in the eSports scene, even if eSports doesn’t have the massive TV station contracts that sports like the NFL and NBA do, I’m left wondering how long it will be until they do?
Before watching State of Play, I was unaware and to be honest didn’t really care all too much about eSports until I saw something about it that wasn’t DOTA 2 or League of Legends, as both games were enough to turn me off the topic. But after seeing something new made me want to look into it more as the whole premise of the players are treated almost like American professional athletes are, as they are drafted by different camps and then play for them, and seeing the similarities that in both eSports and regular sport, it takes hours of training to get to the top, and if they don’t work on it they will start slipping.
Researching eSports has kind of killed my assumption that eSports aren’t overly necessary, as thy have become more and more popular and are going to continue rising to the point where tournaments that were shown in State of Play might actually turn into an international thing (if it hasn’t already, I haven’t found anything on it), and that the world of eSports is a lot bigger than I first ever bothered giving credit for before actually looking into to it.