The electronic sports, known as e-sports, have become, in recent years, a powerful and significant force for the social body. Its influence is being comparable to that of conventional sports, being able to capture as much audience as basketball and generate almost as much income as Formula 1.
Indeed, to date we can affirm that the isports are gaining a higher social status, as well as greater strength, both from an economic point of view and from a cultural perspective.
This is a major change related to the transition to a society in which the technology has a position central and predominant.
E-sports, is it legitimate to treat them as sports?
Before getting into the matter of the social causes of e-sports success, as well as its impact on society, economy and culture, it will be necessary to address one of the most controversial “debates”. Such a debate is one that calls into question whether e-sports are true sports.
Of course, the objection that they are not is unfounded. It is based on a superficial idea about what sports activities are, to the point that they do not consider any activity that does not involve physical effort in the strict sense to be sports.
The error of this position is none other than underestimating the intellectual effort. Contrary to what this common idea holds, as with chess, e-sports are sports in which the strategic thinking and mental abilities of the players are put to the test.
For that reason, it is more than clear that, although it is a new kind of sports, e-sports cannot be disqualified in this regard. On the contrary, it is a sport to which contemporary societies they are adapting.
Where do e-sports come from?
Several of the esports come from the battle arena multiplayer video games. The most popular of them, League of Legends (LOL) is an ideal example of turning esports into mass sport.
The electronic sports they did not always enjoy their current popularity. It is such a recent phenomenon that if we try to remember the role of this type of video game around 2010, many of us would agree that, at that time, the idea of treating it as a sport would have seemed absurd.
However, against all odds, for the year 2017 the world final of League of Legends reached the substantial figure of 75 million viewers worldwide. It was an audience even larger than a North American NBA final.
Similar to how it happened with the history of Formula 1, once an investment group detected the enormous potential of the new sport, it found a greater diffusion, greater equipment and even greater infrastructure.
In summary, electronic sports come from the new developments in online video games, becoming massive sports, just when it was possible to determine their enormous economic potential, just as a few years before had happened with Formula 1 and the Formula 1 Group.
Economic and cultural implications of e-sports
It is difficult to measure the impact of this new reality. It is only certain that esports are here to stay. However, the truth is that as soon as they gained great influence at the world level, international capital quickly moved towards this. new economic sphere.
This means that much of the private investment it is redirecting itself towards this dimension of the economy. As these are large investments of money, the consequences can not only be enormous but will also be very varied, depending on each specific historical-social formation.
In all cases, it will imply less investment in other areas of the economy, but it must not be forgotten that the same investment is, in turn, a source of employment, products and mass entertainment.
Regarding the cultural implications, the most relevant fact is the appearance of new charismatic images that serve as role-model. In a similar way to what happens with great figures in the NBA or European football clubs, in e-sports there are several figures of relevance due to their skills and economic power.
Many of the biggest e-sports stars in games like League of Legends or Dota, have become true influencers, a source of inspiration for the new generations who have grown up playing such video games and who have learned about their particular history.
An example of this is Spanish Enrique Cedeño (xPeke) world champion in the famous League of Legends, who is remembered for a brilliant play within the video game and for his enormous dedication and perseverance that allowed him to reach the top.
A new cultural and economic reality
We are facing a new economic and cultural reality, before which society has to resent and will have to assimilate. This change will bring about a shift in attention from mainstream sports, especially from the younger generations who are being socialized.
Unlike the generations that glimpsed the transition, the younger generations they are being formed from the beginning with these cultural references, as something normal and legitimized, so that in them, very probably, a Enrique Cedeno that a Cristiano Ronaldo.
From the cultural point of view We may also be witnessing an ever-increasing appreciation of knowledge and mental abilities, a change closely related to the transition to, properly called, information societies.