The Rise of Competitive Online Gaming in 2015

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The year 2015 will go down in history as eSports biggest to date. The audience for competitive gaming has exploded, with a reported 334 million people watching the League of Legends World Championship around the globe. This year was also the most lucrative for players, with over $18 million being given away in prize money over five days at the International Dota 2 Championships. But both of those records look like they could easily be smashed once again in 2016 as the popularity of eSports is still on a steep incline.

Competitive gaming has really started to be recognised as a real sport over the last year. Bookmakers like Betway who offer odds on more traditional sports like football, rugby and tennis have also begun offering odds on eSport tournaments. By the end of this year, eSports could cement themselves alongside some of the world’s most popular spectator sports.

This rise in popularity hasn’t gone unnoticed by big businesses, and more and more companies have realised the opportunity to make big money from the sport. Possibly the biggest name in gaming, EA Sports, has now announced plans to launch a new competitive gaming division. The EA Competitive Gaming Division will work on creating eSport contests around the world on some of their biggest titles. Fifa, Battlefield and Madden NFL have been named as the first three franchises to be opened up to competitive gamers.

Another big announcement that is getting competitive gamers excited in 2016 is that popular title Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) will have a new bigger and better ELeague. Previously the title’s championships has been part of other major gaming events, with three small battles being held last year with gamers playing for a prize pot of $250 thousand. Now the game will have its own 10 week league with 15 teams from around the world battling over a prize pot of $1.2 million on offer. The game will also be the latest in a long line of tournaments to be broadcast on American TV, with basic cable channel TBS promising to treat it with the same standards and respect as all of its other sports broadcasts. Just like other more traditional sports, bookmakers will be offering odds on the league. CSGO Betting is available at Betway and the Betway website will also be providing the latest news on the biggest competitive gaming tournaments throughout the year.

Arguably the sport’s biggest and most popular title, League of Legends, have also announced they will allow their online players to battle it out in eSports arenas from the comfort of their own home for cash prizes. Teams will have to pay just $5 to enter each online competition, with the winners of each head to head battle winning a cash prize. It’s hoped that this change will make it easier for new teams to enter into the world of competitive gaming and hopefully find the sports future stars. With a reported over 67 million unique users playing more than 30 million League of Legends matches on Evolve every month, there’s a huge amount of people that will want to get involved in competitive gaming in 2016.

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