NEW YORK, NY - JULY 28: Philadelphia Fusion play London Spitfire during Overwatch League Grand Finals - Day 2 at Barclays Center on July 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Blizzard Entertainment )

You may have heard of the growing phenomena that is e-Sports. Maybe from a child, or maybe from a millenial adult. No matter the age, background, or level of experience, e-sports has opportunity for everyone and we’re going to break down what is expected for the future of gaming, how it will affect our lives, and why we should or should not care about it.

What Is e-Sports?

e-Sports stands for electronic sports. It is the division of professional competitive gaming. The games played consist of anything from strategy like League of Legends, to sports like NBA 2K and Madden, to survival like Fortnite and Overwatch. From streaming services online, a pre-existing online community of gamers across the globe, and live events, casual gamers have become notable stars who can expect to make upwards of seven-figure earnings and also massive brand endorsements. The industry itself is expected to be worth over $1.5 billion by end of 2020.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 15: A general view of the gaming stage during Day 1 of the E-League 2020 Season at ESL Studios on February 15, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jenny Evans/Getty Images)

In Comparison To Traditional Sports

As of 2018, viewership in regards to e-sports had surpassed 395 million viewers, which is more than American football. Although e-sports does not currently sit in the Top 10 for highest viewership in sports, it is projected to make the list by 2022, passing baseball, which currently reaches over 500 million viewers each year.

Most e-sports viewership primarily comes from digital streaming services online, rather than TV. But with ESPN tapping into the industry, and now ABC broadcasting the Overwatch Championship, video games will soon become as popular as American football at local pubs!

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – JANUARY 26: The Los Angeles OpTic competes against the Chicago Huntsmen during day three of the Call of Duty League launch weekend at The Armory on January 26, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Colleges Are Granting Full Scholarships to Gamers

The University of Delaware has now jumped into the mix of e-sports, building their very own gaming arena, accessible to students in the Perkins Center. Throughout the nation, various colleges are joining in on the fun, such as Miami University of Ohio, Boise State, GSU, Harrisburg University of Pennsylvania, and many many more. Play well and you may receive some money from the University.

Is There A Health Risk?

Many people believe e-sports to be the new excuse for kids to play video games endlessly. But that isn’t exactly the truth. An uptick of young people who game constantly have visited doctors for thumb or wrist pain, as well as back and neck pain, and even eye fatigue. As there are screens prepared to reduce eye fatigue, physical, mental, and emotional pain still exists.

E-athletes are typically required to take a holistic approach to self care, including eating right, taking appropriate breaks, stretching, exercise, and therapy.

How Do I Get Involved?

So you’re convinced you want to become a gamer, or at least watch some gaming. But where do I go? First off, there are many streaming services, Twitch, YouTube, Mixer, Checkpoint XP, the list goes on. Young generations have a good grip of what’s happening on the screen and what to play, and best of all, it’s a great way to bond over video games without having to actually play them.