What are eSports?

For some, the shooting at an EA Madden tournament in Jacksonville was the first time eSports broke into the public light. In reality, the world of competitive video gaming is a fast-growing international phenomenon with millions of fans and billions of dollars up for grabs. Streaming services and live events have turned casual gamers into serious stars who can sometimes rake in seven-figure earnings and massive brand endorsements.

eSports Overwatch League
A cheeky macaque, Lower Kintaganban River, Borneo

eSports describes the world of competitive, organized video gaming. Competitors from different leagues or teams face off in the same games that are popular with at-home gamers: Fortnight, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, Overwatch and Madden NFL, to name a few. These gamers are watched and followed by millions of fans all over the world, who attend live events or tune in on TV or online. Streaming services like Twitch allow viewers to watch as their favorite gamers play in real time, and this is typically where popular gamers build up their fandoms.