A New Era of Competition

EG  vs. CDEC  – what a game that is going to be for $6 million dollars this afternoon … if you know what I’m talking about.

Over the past week most people probably haven’t watched what has been happening in the e-sports arena. Heck probably only a small portion of the population has even heard of the numerous teams that have been duking it out over a prize pool of $18.5 million dollars.

That’s right … $18 and a half million dollars on the line for the International Championship of Dota 2 this year.

In many regards this is a huge step forward in e-sports and for the entirety of gamers but it also is signalling something else entirely, the beginning of competitive contests in an entirely digital arena. Previously when e-sports tournaments had happened the payouts were minimal, the engagement was lackluster, or in most cases the crowds were incredibly niche. And while Dota 2 may still be considered “niche” in many regards, when compared to most other sports, as you come to realize that the winning team in Dota 2 will be paid more in total (and per a player) than the women’s world cup it starts to put things a little more in perspective.

http://www.totalsportek.com/money/women-football-world-cup-prize-money/

http://www.dota2.com/international/overview/

Digital scape enjoyments have long been huge money makers yet the actual playing of games in a competitive spirit has long been looked down upon by establishment and those of an older mindset. And true accusations of men sitting in they’re hunkered caves “practicing” dota (or Defense of the Ancients) for hours isn’t that far off. The only real difference comes in how it’s being perceived by a larger portion of the population and also money …. lots and lots of money.

In fact over the past several years the Dota 2 International Tournament has been going on the prize pools have steadily increased by a large margins. This is huge change from previously less than six figure first place prizes to literally millions of dollars influxed into the e-sport arena.

However, the biggest reason I think this is changing the landscape of professional competition is because as computers and digital technology increasingly become entrenched with the younger generation and more and more people begin to partake in games it will become interesting to see how it’s influence will grow. Make no mistake when baseball became huge at the turn of the century around 100 years ago many people scoffed at the idea of players getting paid thousands to simply play baseball professionally.

Now, they get paid in the millions and this only after a short span of time in history. It’s not to say that Dota 2 or e-sports are going to become the next baseball. But if you look out at the crowds of people watching e-sports who are of a much younger generation one can’t help but ask what will happen when they get older and have children and raise them up watching e-sports.

Ohh common right? Their fans can’t be THAT dedicated can they, after all it’s only a game right, how deep could this thing go?

Very deep and especially for the fans they love the stuff, the players, the interest, and the depth and overall skill of the game.

Similar to chess meeting digital mma games like DOTA 2 have a large room to expand they’re base not because they’re too easy to learn but because they are incredibly complex and allow for that. Make no mistake while Dota 2 might not be around for e-sports forever there is a good chance that it will snowball. It just might be the first game in a series of digitally geared e-sports that will forever change the era and officially usher in the digital age of competition.

Let the Digitalis blooming begin.

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