eSports is a phenomenon that attracts millions of new players every year, so, sharing the same passion as you, I thought to gather here the most important terminals in the history of electronic sports.
▪️The appearance of the first digital game on the computer.
▪️The 80s and the transition to another level of the phenomenon.
▪️It was Nintendo.
▪️How Quake changed the face of eSport.
▪️Starcraft: Brood War, another reference game.
▪️The first tournament with total prizes of one million dollars.
▪️Year 2,000: World Cyber Games.
The development of technology has given people access to many facilities, including electronic games. It has not always been so, but with support the industry has gradually developed and reached this point. The history of electronic sport presents the major events that have been the basis of its development up to this point.
Electronic sports have become increasingly popular among young people. Later it developed and over time, games for all ages were thought and produced. Simulators, strategy games, sports, all are part of what we call the video game industry, whose value is close to the billions of dollars.
🕹History of electronic sports – The beginnings
With each passing year the games move to another level and electronic sports enthusiasts have the opportunity to enjoy the latest technology. But whoever believes that eSport has developed overnight is definitely misleading. Alexander Shafto Douglas is practically the first man who organized the first such contest.
The history of X and O electronic sports – photo source: history-computer.com
In 1952 he worked at Cambdridge, his doctorate on the interaction between humans and computers. This opened some horizons and he had the idea to implement X and 0 as a computer game. For several years people were able to play against the computer.
Six years later, the 1958 director of Higinbotham Instrumentation introduced the first truly multiplayer game. “Tennis for two” or “Tennis in two” was a game that you could play with a joytstick. With this the players adjusted the trajectory and sent the ball over the net. It is the first multiplayer game recognized in this industry.
🕹History of electronic sports – The appearance of the first digital game on the computer
Spacewar I am convinced that this is not a game that will tell you much, but it is the first digital game released on the computer. In 1962, employees of the Tech Model Railroad Club managed to perfect a game on the MIT PDP-10 computer model. Informatician Steve Russel and colleagues, Martin Graetz and Wayne Wiitanen were bringing Spacewar to the computer.
It was about two spaceships that had limited ammunition and fuel. They are also added to the fight against the gravitational field, which made the game a captivating one. It is listed as the first digital computer game in the world. The famous New York Times daily put him in good stead, in the top 10 computer games worldwide.
1972 is a year of reference in the world of electronic sports. The first eSports tournament in the world took place. Because the games were limited and not everyone had access to them, everything happened in the Artificial Intelligence Lab at Stanford University. 24 players competed in a single day, in an attempt to defeat their opponent at Spacewars. The prize was then a more symbolic one, an annual subscription to Rolling Stones magazine. Bruce Baumgart was the one who managed to win.
🕹The history of electronic sports – the 80s and the transition to another level of the phenomenon
From year to year the programmers tried to develop and come up with something new on the gaming market, where conditions allowed. In 1980 the video game competition reached the general public. This was the time when Atari organized the Space Invaders championship. Asteroids and Starfire came into play, being two electronic machines that allowed players to register under a pseudonym and a score.
With Space Invaders, Atari started laying the groundwork for what would be today’s eSport. The first version of the game was played in 1980, in a competition called the Space Invaders Championship. More than 10,000 people took part in the competition, but only one managed to win the big prize, an Asteroids machine. William Heineman Salvador would then be the best.
The United States has played an important role in the development of video games. One of the reference moments was the one in which Walter Day created Twin Galaxies. The organization came to the aid of the players, who kept their scores and put them in a general hierarchy. A year later, he founded the national team of professional players in the United States. The importance attached to this sphere and the fact that it hosted the first professional player competition in North America, places Walter Day among the pioneers of Esports.
🕹It was Nintendo
Better graphics were needed, and if Atari had its share of glory in the early 1980s, it was time for Nintendo to take the lead. Nintendo Entertainment System is a Japanese video and electronic game company. Since 1985, it has become a North American name, where it has become a brand in the video game industry. In 1991 it was launched on the US territory, SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System), which it did a year later in Europe.
SNES came with a graphics superior to the previous generation, Sega Genesis. Basically, Nintendo has contributed to the exponential improvement of video games in a very short period of time. A permanent ally of video games, he supported the competition game to develop further. In 1990, the Nintendo World Championship was held, which involved a series of tournaments across the United States.
The success he had allowed him to enjoy the same popularity and four years later. In 1994, in order to promote the famous SNES, Nintendo chose Universal Studios as the venue for another world competition among professional players. The finale of the event was held in California, San Diego.
🕹History of electronic sports – Starcraft: Brood War, another reference game
He kept some Quake fever, but it was not the only element that was the basis for the development of computer games. A year later, Blizzard released Starcraft: Brood War, a reference game for the gaming world. Its launch equated with the return of the crisis of Asia, a market that has proven important in this field, electronic sports. For two years, between 1997 and 1999, South Korea was badly affected by the financial crisis. This forced the gaming enthusiasts to reorient themselves to the internet cafe rooms because they were cheaper.
The very good conditions and the high speed internet allowed the young South Koreans to socialize and together to make Starcraft an extremely popular game among them. As popular as it is to persuade certain television stations to launch channels dedicated to Stracraft competitions. All of this was the perfect recipe, with sponsors like Samsung being drawn to support teams in South Korea.
Sponsorships ran on the treadmill. The biggest companies wanted to get to the forefront and the young people knew about them. The most fashionable companies that were related to this field were on the clothes of professional players.
🕹History of electronic sports – The first tournament with a total prize money of one million dollars
According to the figures, the 21st century was ready to welcome the eSports world with open arms. Online came to life, internet cafes were very popular and the history of electronic sports was ready to write an exceptional chapter. Video game enthusiasts could now easily access new games at the highest performance. Later, things evolved and more and more players started to appear, who were either playing from the internet room or from home. At the same time, the foundations of the first eSports organizations were being set up, some of them activating even today.
▪️SK Gaming – 1997
▪️4Kings – 1997
▪️Ninjas in Pajamas – 2000
▪️Tean 3D – 2002
▪️Mousesports – 2002
▪️Complexity Gaming – 2003
▪️Fnatic – 2004
The prizes also increased by many zeros, unlike what happened until the 2000s. Fun Technologies organized the World Championship of Internet Games, where 71 players took part. They competed for the big prize of one million dollars and that was one of the tournaments organized then. In 2010, more than 20 times as many tournaments were organized as the beginning of the 21st century.
Although there are several disciplines for which important competitions are organized around the world, those of Dota 2 are at another level when we talk about the prize fund. Since 2015 and to date, The International has offered prizes totaling $ 137.7 million. The international is a Dota 2 competition, which from 2015 is organized annually by those from Valve.
🕹The History of Electronic Sports – Year 2000: World Cyber Games
In the year 2000, World Cyber Games was born, a competition that involved competing in several sports disciplines. It is associated as the eSports variant of the Summer Olympics. In 2000, on October 7, South Korea’s involvement in eSports was total. He supported the organization of the World Cyber Gamers Challenge, an event sponsored by the South Korean Ministry of Culture. The competition brought 17 teams to the start line, who competed in games like Quake 3, Fifa 2000, Age of Empires II and Star Craft: Brood War. From year to year the prizes have increased, and nowadays they have reached $ 600,000, three times as much as the first organized edition.
Until 2013 there was a competition organized annually. Since then, the organization has closed, with several sponsors accusing the WCG leadership of several things. A reconciliation was attempted a few years later, but the tour scheduled to take place was canceled. Only in 2019 was organized, but without some important disciplines.
After six years of break, World Cyber Games 2019 has been organized again. Xi an City (China) was the meeting place of the 506 participants. They have competed in disciplines such as Dota 2, CrossFire, Hearthstone, Clash Royale, Honor of Kings and Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne. $ 612,500 was the total of the prizes offered. It should be borne in mind that some of the most popular games like Fortnite, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or League of Legends were missing.