Esports is a fascinating phenomenon in a billion-dollar industry. Officially, “eSports” is short for electronic sports and refers to competitive video gaming with tournament and league structures just like traditional sports. In eSports, gamers square off either in teams (multiplayer) or individually. According to SIUE EDU, because of streaming services like Twitch and YouTube, professional gamers have become their own breed of celebrities building legitimate fan bases that come out to support them.
Added SIUE EDU, eSports traces its origins back to 1972, when home consoles first became common. But the history according to ISPO is way earlier than this. According to author Florian Larch, the early days of competitive computer games date back to 1952.
As the 2000’s rolled around, eSports gained serious momentum. These days, in almost 70 years of computer gaming history, eSports has now established itself in many countries around the world. As a result, prize money has increased significantly, events are growing every year, and even eSports betting is offered. From a small niche, it has become a multi-media billion-dollar market that is now attracting many investors.
In Asia, OCA or the Olympic Council of Asia has announced that eight eSports games will be contested at the 19th Asian Games which are to be held in Hangzhou, China. Though it was originally scheduled to be held in September of this year, it was announced to be postponed. But come the new dates, the eSports games are still to be included.
As per AFK Gaming, among these eight games is Valve’s flagship Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA), DotA 2. Aside from that, these are the other games – Arena of Valor Asian Games version, Dream Three Kingdoms 2, EA Sports FIFA branded soccer games, Hearthstone, League of Legends, PUBG Mobile Asian Games version and Street Fighter V.
In addition to the eight eSports titles that will take place at this upcoming Asian Games, there will also be two games that will serve as demonstration events. The two demonstration events are AESF Robot Masters-Powered by Migu and AESF VR Sports-Powered by Migu.
This will be the first time eSports will be represented at an Asian Games as a medal sport.
Aside from the Asiad, here are the other top Asian events as listed by The Site Org:
- Southeast Asian Games
The Southeast Asian Games are without a doubt one of the most significant events on the calendar. While primarily a sports event, the SEA Games have agreed to feature eSports as an official discipline once again, allowing talent from the region to join in and try their hand at some of the most competitive video games.
The event was held in Vietnam and featured some exciting eSports titles that makes it one of the most important Asian events featuring gaming this year.
Here are the included games – League of Legends, CrossFire, FIFA, Wild Rift, Arena of Valor, PUBG, Free Fire and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.
- World eSports and Gaming Summit
Hosted in Singapore, the World eSports & Gaming Summit will be taking place September 23 – 24 and it will be one of the most important events concerning eSports and gaming in Asia this year.
eSports itself will not be in focus in terms of competing, but the business side of the industry will be thoroughly discussed which is an important way to advance the entire industry forward.
Some of the panels will be dedicated to a new growing trend, i.e., eSports betting for real money which seems to complement the mainstream sports calendar already and provides business and industry stakeholders with important opportunities.
- 2022 Honor of Kings World Champion Cup
Honor of Kings has some 100 million active users daily which makes it one of the most played games in the world. However, Honor of Kings is only available in China. For most of the other regions, the game is simply known as Arena of Valor. Then, why is the World Championship Cup so important?
It’s important because it offers almost $7.5 million in prize money and is essentially one of the richest events that eSports players can get to.
- Mobile Legends World Championships
The Mobile Legends World Championships, or M3 for short, is the crowning event for Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, the Montoon mobile competitor to Honor of Kings, Arena of Valor, and Wild Rift. The event is considered to be one of the most important happenings on the Asian eSports scene this year as it continues the growth of MOBA games for mobile.
Players will be competing for a total prize pool of at least $250,000, but Montoon has plans to push the development of its gaming product further and ensure that it continues to grow the prize pool as well as the interest in the game.
Because of its fame, glory and financial reward, more and more teams from different Asian countries are becoming competitive. Here are top teams and their respective nations at the top of eSports ranking, as ranked by PC-Tablet, an online news media publication:
- PSG.LGD (China)
Paris-Saint Germain decided to launch an eSports team and shortly after merged with Chinese eSports powerhouse LGD. With headquarters in China, PSG.LGDS is one of the most impressive DotA 2 establishments to date.
The team almost won The International in 2018. That was only a short time after it the team’s formation. Just qualifying for the event that quickly was an impressive feat. PSG.LGD has not won a DotA 2 The International. Despite this, the team has amassed a total of $15 million in winnings.
PSG.LG has competed in 91 events as of the last quarter of 2021 and that number will continue to rise.
- Global eSports (India)
Global eSports is an established name in eSports in India. They offer some of the best players in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Global eSports is an impressive team. Established in 2019, they have already come to completely dominate Indian eSports. Impressively, they’ve also won several major Asian championships.
- Seoul Dynasty (South Korea)
Seoul Dynasty represents the South Korean capital in the competition. The team is one of the most prominent names in competitive video gaming. They are one of the best teams in the Overwatch League.
Overwatch is not a new game. Through the efforts of teams like the Seoul Dynasty, fans’ love for the game lives on. The team is very consistent in its great results in the Korean eSports league. Seoul Dynasty is one of the best-performing teams in the league. It seems they will continue dominating the highest echelons of eSports for the near future.
- TNC Predator (Philippines)
TNC Predator is a team in the DotA 2 scene. They have been dominating Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) competitions in Southeast Asia of late. The team evolved from an Internet café franchise and rose to prominence fast. They are a force to be reckoned with in the region’s DotA 2 arena.
TNC Predator was unknown during their DotA years, as the game wasn’t so prominent. Once Valve began investing in competitive gaming in 2011, it rose to prominence. TNC became an example of what competitive DotA 2 should be about and how aspiring pros should get there.
- Shanghai Dragons
The Shanghai Dragons are a Chinese Overwatch League team. The team’s players are some of the most capable South Korean players. When it comes to the Overwatch League, South Koreans continue to dominate. The Dragons are the home team for the city of Shanghai. In the world of eSports, there is nothing bizarre about foreign players. The Shanghai Dragons are an example of the future for Asian eSports. International players face each other in the highest levels of competition.
The eSports industry has come a long way since its conception. Today, there’s a new emerging trend under this category – the sports betting or the activity of predicting sports results and placing a wager on the outcome. Oriental Game is at the forefront when it comes to this. It’s an all-in-one sports betting solution that provides monthly head-2-head statistics for 30,000+ matches, 2,400+ tournaments and 120+ sports types including virtual sports and eSports with exclusive bet trade features.