Esports That Were In The Spotlight Even Before COVID-19

It was a story that would have been bruised until a few decades ago, but in the 21st century, this content has taken up a place in broadcasting contents under the name of ‘e-sports’. In the process of the first new normal set in the chaos of the IMF, 〈Star Craft〉, which settled as a ‘people’s game’, and the e-sports broadcast based on it have gradually grown in size, and in 2020, another cataclysm of Corona 19 It is becoming a broadcasting content in the new normal era.

Although e-sports have emerged as a standout as virtually all sporting events have been halted, the status of new broadcast content has not been suddenly established in line with COVID-19. E-sports broadcasts have been continuously expanding the viewing population regardless of domestic and overseas, and the situation that would have been reached within a few years even without the COVID-19 crisis has only been brought forward due to a sudden event.

The biggest growth in broadcasting in the 21st century, e-sports

ESPN, the largest sports broadcasting cable channel in the United States, sought various alternatives in the face of a broadcasting void due to the suspension of Major League Baseball in May 2020. In the end, negotiations for the broadcasting rights of KBO professional baseball in Korea were concluded, and KBO regular leagues are being broadcast across the United States. Event matches were broadcast.

This isn’t the first time ESPN has 스포츠중계. Since 2014, ESPN has been focusing on esports in addition to traditional sports. ESPN, which tried to broadcast popular sports such as <Dota 2> and explored the possibility, reorganized its homepage on January 14, 2016, added an e-sports section, and published an article saying “the era of e-sports has arrived” as top news. floated1)In 2018, it signed a broadcasting rights contract with Riot Games, the producer of 〈League of Legends〉, and started to broadcast all 〈League of Legends〉 league games in North America live through the ESPN Plus channel.

The growth of e-sports is not limited to North America alone.

In 2019, just before the COVID-19 outbreak, a total of 12 e-sports associations gathered in Europe to establish the European Esports Federation. In Europe, where professional games other than broadcasting have been held for a long time through individual tours for each game event, the heat is the hottest. Fanatic, which is headquartered in the UK and runs various e-sports clubs such as 〈Counter Strike〉 and 〈League of Legends〉, was founded in 2000 and is a Swedish Ninjas who has ruled as a traditional powerhouse of 〈Counter Strike〉. Numerous teams such as Ninjas in Pajamas are driving the popularity of esports in Europe.

There are many stories of Korea claiming to be the master country of e-sports. This is because the game competition as a one-time tournament tour first started in North America and Europe, but the mid-to-long term league, including broadcasting, was formed from the success in Korea. The era of 〈Star Craft 1〉, which was called the so-called ‘two leagues’ through OGN and MBC games, was an example of how e-sports can be positioned as sports entertainment based on a strong fandom and hot stardom. The enthusiasm of 〈Star Craft 1〉, which is still talked about as a ‘100,000 crowd in Gwangalli’, showed that e-sports is not a future possibility, but a current box office sport.

The outlook for the rapidly growing e-sports market is particularly bright compared to other sports. The size of the e-sports market, estimated by Goldman Sachs, will reach 276 million in 2022, with the number of NFL football viewers falling from 100 million and the MLB World Series audience from 22.84 million to 14.12 million in 2016. This is in contrast to the weakness of traditional sports, which are shrinking due to2)In addition to this, as the suspension of matches of legacy sports that occurred after the COVID-19 crisis overlapped, e-sports was placed in a situation that firmly established the center of new sports entertainment in the post-COVID-19 era.


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