Although the online revolution has created many hundreds of new types of occupations ranging from bloggers to social media marketers, it’s competitive gamers who are showing just how far things have come.
Despite video gaming usually being thought to be the preserve of teenagers in bedrooms, in the past few years competitive gaming has provided something of a career for many errant gamers with sports betting companies, corporate sponsors and major TV networks all providing the revenues necessary to make it a fully-fledged occupation.
Although video gaming has long been an established as a social activity, it’s only with the arrival of super-fast broadband technologies that gamers have been able to effectively compete with each other on a global scale.
And before long a huge range of multinational tournaments such as GamesCom emerged that provided an arena for teams from different countries to compete in games such as Dota 2 and League of Legends before thousands of avid spectators.
The fact that such competitions could attract huge audiences quickly attracted the attention of a range of digital television services such as Twitch.tv so that fans could follow their favourite gamer’s activities online.
And similarly, the introduction of competitive gaming as a feature on Betway’s sports betting site shows how eSports betting will be massive in 2016 as fans can now check out the rising stars in games such as Heroes of the Storm and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Given the increased exposure that eSports has received, many multinational companies such as Red Bull and Coca Cola have jumped aboard the competitive gaming bandwagon and seek to making their brands attractive to younger audiences through exclusive eSports sponsorship deals.
In many ways it merely signals the way in which competitive gaming has gradually become much like any other sport as there are now a range of agents, managers and pundits all delivering advice to fledgling eSports players as they bid to work their way up the gaming ladder.
However, there are also a few words of warning for anyone looking to quit their studies and become a professional competitive gamer. Firstly, like any sport there’s an increasing amount of competition as players bid to attract sponsors and win the prize money, and many eSports players have complained of burn out as they spend many hours in front of their computers in an attempt to become the best in the game.
So whilst the rise of eSports betting, sponsorship and media exposure has increased the potential earnings in competitive gaming, it still seems like a relatively risky career choice for any young person in the modern workplace.