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Have you received endless lectures from any of your parents about the futility of pursuing video games? People outside of esports still have hesitations about its legitimacy due to negative connotations surrounding video games.
The Media learning about esports © Tramah YouTube
Yet despite the continuing negative media around gaming (coming, mainly, only from older-generation outlets), 2017 was an amazing year for esports. Show this to your parents who still don't believe in esports.
Esports Viewership in 2017
Esports events have consistently filled venues usually used for traditional sports such as arenas, olympic stadiums, and gymnasiums. This sheer amount of esports fans eager to watch the events live has caused a lot of traditional sports organizations to take notice. Here are the biggest esports events in 2017 from the three biggest games in the industry.
League of Legends developer, Riot Games, held their 2017 World Championship grand final at the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing, China. The Bird's Nest, which was originally constructed for the 2008 Olympics, boasts a seating capacity of around 80,000.
LoL fans filled around half of the Bird's Nest Stadium's seats. In addition, a total of 75, 561, 716 fans watched the grand final through online streams. The event at the stadium was only for the grand final of the World Championship, a single best-of-five series.
The annual Dota 2 world championship, The International, returned to the KeyArena in Seattle, USA. The International 2017 catered close to 17,000 fans who wanted to watch Dota 2 action live. The grand final match between Team Liquid and Newbee attracted 10, 935, 730 online viewers across the world.
The biggest Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament of the year took place in the Tauron Arena Kraków in Kraków, Poland. The Tauron Arena is one of the largest sports venue in Poland and it hosted close to 15,000 CS:GO fans. The grand final match between Gambit Esports and Immortals attracted 961, 289 viewers through online streams.
Local esports broadcasting channels like MineskiTV and WomboXcombo had a banner year with their successful tournament productions. WxC peaked at 16000+ viewers over the course of 2017. MineskiTV also reached upwards of around 16,000 concurrent viewers in 2017.
The Coveted Prizes
2017 also saw some of the biggest prize pools from these three titans of esports. The International 2017 amassed a prize pool of USD 24,787,916, with the grand champions, Team Liquid, taking the lion's share of USD 10,862,683. The 2017 League of Legends World Championship reached the total prize pool amount of USD 4,170,000 with the world champions, Samsung Galaxy taking home USD 1,723,721.63. The USD 1,000,00 prize pool PGL Krakow 2017 for CS:GO saw their champions, Gambit Esports, take USD 500,000.
Given the large prize pools of esports tournaments, the professional gamers from the successful teams earn more than their fair share of the pot. Li "iceice" Peng, a Chinese Dota 2 player, has earned approximately USD 1,998, 632. While Syed Sumail " SumaiL" Hassan, Evil Geniuses' Dota 2 player, has earned approximately $2,637,968 from tournament winnings.
The three-time world champion, Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok has earned approximately USD 1,191,080 from his tournament wins with SK Telecom T1. For CS:GO, SK Gaming's Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo, has approximately earned USD 666,787 across his many tournaments.
The PH Government Recognizes Esports
Esports organizations in the Philippines have been recognized by the PH Government through the Gaming and Amusements Board(GAB). The GAB recently added esports to the sports they encompass, further legitimizing esports as an established industry.
GAB recognize professional gamers with a professional esport athlete license. They also assist esports organizations in preparing for any international tournament they are set to compete in.
PH Success in Esports
TNC Pro Team's historic upset over OG in The International 2016 sparked the beginning of a successful era for PH esports. TNC took down the tournament favorites at TI6 before finishing at 8th place overall.
RELATED: TNC Defeats OG at TI6
The Philippines also had representatives in the first ever League of Legends World Championship in 2011, with the participation of Pacific Esports. Mineski-League of Legends qualified for the 2013 League of Legends World Championship to raise the PH flag on the Worlds stage for a second time.
Investors are currently flocking over to invest in esports organizations from all around the globe. You find a various assortment of investors from prominent businessmen to companies that you would not usually associate with video games and sports.
A PH Congressman from Negros Occidental recently decided to delve into esports by establishing his own esports organization, Team Albee.
Some of the first investors in esports were NBA veterans. Rick Fox, a former Los Angeles Laker, formally entered professional League of Legends at the beginning of the 2016 North American LoL season. His team, Echo Fox, continues to compete at the highest level of western LoL against the toughest teams of the region.
NBA organizations like the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, and the Golden State Warriors have also taken a step into esports with their very own professional League teams in the NA LCS.
More Sport Than Game
Esports focuses on competitive activity on the highest level of skill across the different games. Professional gamers train every day in gaming houses with their teammates to build synergy and coordination. Professional players earn monthly salaries and are some times offered endorsement deals by gaming brands to promote their products. There's hardly any difference between a professional gamer and a traditional athlete besides the choice of game or sport that they've decided to dedicate their whole lives to.
Esports does not focus on the casual side of video gaming where gamers play at their leisure to unwind. Professional gamers train tirelessly in order to reach the top of their chosen craft, much like any self-respecting traditional athlete.
Professional gamers continue to prove that their chosen path is a viable career choice. Esports events will only grow grander from this point, and that should help you get your parents off your back for playing your favorite games.