If you went 10 years back in time and told yourself that gamers would be competitively playing video games in giant sold out arenas, would you believe it? We sure wouldn’t. But it’s here. It’s here to stay. And it’s growing. We’re talking eSports.
Just last month, the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM), a three-day professional video game tournament, sold out the infamously hard to fill Qudos Bank Arena at Sydney Olympic Park in Australia. That’s more than 18,000 die-hard gamer fans who are mostly males in their 20’s and 30’s.
At IEM, sixteen professional teams play a multiplayer first person shooter Counterstrike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) for a $310,000 prize pool. For these gamers, this is their livelihood. Everyone may be playing, but this is no game. Stakes are high.