It is generally accepted that eSports began in 1980 with Atari’s Space Invaders Championship in the US. This event attracted more than 10,000 competitors and led to the foundation later that year of Twin Galaxies.
Set up by Walter Day, this organisation kept a record of and published high scores. Twin Galaxies went on to create the US National Video Game Team in 1983 and set up competitions such as North American Video Game Challenge tournament. Throughout the late 1980s, tournaments for arcade and console games (now more affordable) became increasingly common. Significantly, companies like BlockBuster Video and Nintendo began sponsoring world championships.
The 1990s saw another leap forward for eSports with bigger prizes than ever on offer. One of the first major leagues for gamers was set up – the Cyberathlete Professional League. Within a year, the CPL was offering gamers $15,000 in prize money. Many other big tournaments and leagues were also set up throughout the 1990s. However, these all mainly focused on first person shooters, sports and older arcade-style games.
Since the turn of the millennium, eSports has gone truly global. In 2000, the World Cyber Games and the Electronic Sports World Cup were both launched. These are major international annual tournaments that are still held today.
Since then the popularity of eSports has rocketed, with more professional players, regular international competitions and big prize money available, let’s take a look how far eSports has come with this infographic from Computer Planet.
Make sure you click and zoom!
Source: Marcus Clark / Computer Planet