You Make THAT Much Doing WHAT?!
Sports! We all know them, some of us love them. Whether it be a ball, a stick, a ball and a stick, or maybe even swords, sports have been a staple of humankind all over the globe since ancient times. Name a time, place, and competition and we could all assume one thing: all competitors in this sport surely are fit, trained, and powerful. It's a universal understanding, that athletes are the top percent of humans in terms of stamina, endurance, speed, and any other kind of physicality that isn't normally incredibly high for someone's day-to-day life. Such a strong constant in the sports world, nothing could change it, especially not one little letter, right?
Welcome to Esports Stadium Arlington, in Arlington, Texas, the largest esports stadium in North America. If you should attend a competition in this venue, you'll notice some key differences between it and the sports you're used to. For one, the field is very small. The stadium itself is really more like a theater, with a raised stage at one end of the cavernous room, and seats for attendees filling most of the space otherwise. Once the event began, you'd notice something else odd: all the athletes, they aren't particularly imposing? They seem to be normal young men that were grabbed off the street. And after that, all of them... sit down? At computers? What about the sports? Perhaps at this point, you may ascertain the meaning of the 'e' in esports. Electronic sports.
It seems to be a bit oxymoronic, sports without any bodily movement. Of course, it isn't terribly impressive at first glance, either. Can't anyone play video games? It's only video games! Well, according to their paychecks, no, not just anyone can play video games, not the way esports' "athletes" do.
The esports industry sings to the tune of nearly one billion dollars this year and the last, according to Statista. The average esports athlete can make around $5,000 dollars a month, and some higher-tier players can make three times that monthly rate. At peak payment that's $180,000 a year!
Two of the most popular professionally played video games are Blizzard Entertainment's Overwatch (a role-based team shooter) and Riot Games' League of Legends (a more difficult to explain team-based game). These games still don't sound like they're worth the salary of their elite players, and really, words never could. It's much easier to understand an esports athlete's talent in motion. Split second reactions, teamwork that gives ants a run for their money, and more focus than I've had total in all twelve years of my schooling. It's incredible, and quite clear that not just anyone can accomplish such feats. Is it worth more than what some doctors make? I will refrain from comment.