Number of E-sports Pros Rises as China Continues to Lead the Way in Normalisation
The number of professional e-sports players in China keeps on rising, just months after the country accepted the discipline as a normal sport. It was reported that over 100,000 individuals had entered the records as professionals by July 2019. This number is estimated to have doubled by the start of November. There are projections that it will storm into the millions in the net half decade.
China accepted e-sports as a mainstream discipline at the start of 2019, joining the front-end of the queue of countries doing the same. South Korea followed the same steps soon after china, and the move is paying off in the country too. Other countries that have taken the bold step include Turkey (2014) and France (2016). Sri Lanka is the newest kid on the block having formalised the sport in October 2019.
The latest occurrences will be a huge factor in the e-sports debate which has been raging for a while now. There are those who feel that the mode of play should not be classified as a sport since it is mainly virtual. Protagonists for e-sports acceptance however argue that the same skills required for other sports apply to e-sports. E-sports players train and compete like participants of any other discipline, they argue.
The surge in popularity of e-sports has worked well to boost the argument of those who are pro-formalisation. Over 450 million people across the world are now connected to e-sports in one way or the other. The industry is raking in over a billion dollars in revenues. These are not figures that anyone can simply ignore. No matter what is said about e-sports, the discipline is making a stronger case for itself by the day.
Asian countries have had a particularly major role in this development. China admitted e-sports as true sports way back in 2003. There are many developers in the Asian region and many applications for formalisation come from this region.
Japan, for instance, has been petitioning for e-sports to be included in The Olympics. The people in charge of Olympics have already noted the growing popularity of e-sports and are mooting its inclusion in future competitions.
The US and Europe are also warming up to the idea of bringing e-sports to the mainstream. A number of schools in both regions are already including e-sports in their learning instruction. It is without doubt a pretty popular subject. The number of participants will only go higher.
What next for E-Sports
The number of people playing e-sports is bound to keep increasing. The trend of recognizing it as a profession will also spread to other regions away from China. This will mean that many people will stop treating e-sports as just a pastime. Rather, they will begin treating it as a full time job. The best players will start (continue) grouping together. In the not so distant future we can expect to see e-sports teams in the same model as Manchester United or Real Madrid. Sponsors will flock these teams and the discipline will have even more organized competitions. Expect e-sports to dethrone several disciplines in popularity too!