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The fascinating details and impressive numbers behind Esports, the gaming revolution that is beating traditional sports in terms of audience and revenue.

The field of electronic sports, more commonly known as Esports, has undergone a massive surge in popularity over the recent years. Once a niche hobby, it has turned into a lucrative industry captivating millions across the globe. It's a unique territory where youngsters thrive and old societal norms are pushed to their bounds.

Esports is changing the concept of traditional sports with its tremendous numbers in terms of global audience and revenues. The revolution is already here, but it might take a bit of time for some to catch up. While some traditional sports are struggling to maintain audiences, the electronic version has posted impressive grown numbers year after year.

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For those unfamiliar with Esports, it is basically competitive electronic gaming. Video game enthusiasts compete in various genres, such as action, strategy, or simulation games. The popularity of these games and the intensity of the competition draws a massive crowd, both live and online.

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This digital shift is not just significant in terms of the sports industry. It’s also a cultural phenomenon that has spread across the globe – literally blurring the lines of nationalities, races, and languages. It's building communities where mutual appreciation for gaming is the main bond.

As with any traditional sport, players who compete at the highest levels of Esports have degrees of skill, strategy, and dedication that separate them from casual players – making them professional athletes in their own right. The players aren't hidden in their bedrooms anymore; they are playing in packed arenas and stadiums.

Being a part of an Esports team requires discipline, strategy, cooperation, tactical planning, multifaceted communication and, of course, exceptional gaming skills. The level of professionalism is such that players usually live in team houses, where they eat, sleep, and train together under strict schedules and regimes.

A testament to the booming popularity of Esports is the steady increase in its global revenue. In 2016, Esports generated $493 million in revenue. In 2020, despite all the challenges posed by the pandemic, Esports made history by breaking the billion-dollar mark for the first time.

The most popular events in Esports offer impressive prize pools that often surpass those found in traditional sports. For instance, the International, a tournament for the game Dota 2, had a prize pool of more than $34 million in 2019 – higher than the prize money offered in prestigious events like Wimbledon.

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The rise in revenue correlates with the increase in global viewership. About 495 million people watched Esports in 2020, with Asia being home to the most number of spectators. This number surpasses NFL’s total global viewership in the same year.

This eye-catching popularity hasn’t gone unnoticed. Numerous brands, advertisers and sponsors are flocking towards Esports, realizing the immense potential in this rapidly growing industry. Major players in the tech industry have invested heavily in promoting and developing Esports.

An important aspect of Esports’ growth is the engagement and interaction between the viewers and the players. Unlike traditional sports, Esports offers fans multiple platforms to connect with their favorite players through live streams, chats and social media – catering to the Internet generation effectively.

Esports is exploding in academic institutions as well. More colleges and universities are recognizing it as a real sport, offering scholarships for talented players and building dedicated spaces for Esports. This educational shift could lead future generations to view Esports on par with traditional sports.

Upping the ante, Esports is also making its way into the ultimate arena - the Olympics. In the 2022 Asian Games, Esports will be included as an official medal event, and there have been discussions about including it in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Nevertheless, Esports is not without criticism. Issues like game addiction, players' mental health, and the industry's ongoing struggle with gender inclusivity and lack of diversity are valid concerns that need attention. Steps are being taken to address these, but there's still a long way to go.

Despite such challenges, Esports seems poised to continue its upward trend. With new advancements in technology and gaming equipment, the overall quality and popularity of Esports will continue to soar.

The current generation is a digital native generation. The industry is here to cater to them, providing them with a platform that they can associate with. Traditional sports industry players would do well not to underestimate the appeal of Esports.

Even after the pandemic ends and the world regains a semblance of normalcy, Esports will likely continue to surge in popularity. Its adaptable nature, prolific amounts of content, youthful fanbase, and global accessibility make it apt for the digital age.

The future of Esports doesn't just lie in its capacity to compete with traditional sports. Its real potential is in redefining the norms of the sports and entertainment industry altogether.

The phrase 'nerds in their mother’s basement' is outdated. The new reality is - they are now athletes in a billion-dollar industry, with millions of fans worldwide. The world of Esports has arrived – and it shows no signs of leaving any time soon.

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