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Maybe you see the concept of Esports as nothing more than video games, but it is so much more than that. The Electronic Sports phenomenon - or Esports for short - does involve the use of video games, but it is a way for the best gaming competitors from around the world to come together.


Esports are multiplayer video game competitions between individual pros or teams comprised of the best of the best. Not just anyone can be involved in Esports competitions; they are strictly for professional gamers who have been doing this for a while. The concept came about in 1972 but did not take off until the late 90’s and early 2000’s.


If you’re interested in learning more about the progression and evolution of electronic sports, keep reading. Here you can learn about Esports and how it has changed from 1972 to present day 2019.

The First Sighting of Esports in 1972

The first glimpse of anything resembling an electronic sports competition happened in 1972. Students of California’s Stanford University organized an online video game battle using a popular game at the time, Spacewar. Students that participated in the competition were vying for not only the title of Spacewar champion, but also a one-year subscription to Rolling Stone magazine (which everyone was of course reading in 1972).

The Epic Esporting Days of the 1990’s

During the 70’s and 80’s Esports and online video game competitions did not really take off. The real Esports story did not begin to happen until the 90’s; during this decade there were tons of new additions to the gaming world that changed the way gamers experienced it.


One of the games that revolutionized Esports was Street Fighter II that was released in 1991. Instead of focusing on playing against the game itself and winning by receiving high scores, SFII focused on players challenging each other directly. This style of gaming laid the foundation for the future of Esports.

Widespread Global Competitions in the 2000’s

While the concept of Esports spread throughout the United States, other areas of the world started to develop their own ideas of it as well. South Korea experienced a huge boom of online gaming in the late 90’s due to increased broadband internet networks.


Between 2000 and 2010 the number of international Esporting events jumped significantly. It went from about 1 dozen tournaments in 2000 to almost 300 in 2010. Some of the world’s most prestigious competitions were founded during this time, including:


  • World Cyber Games

  • Intel Extreme Masters

  • Major League Gaming

  • FUN Technologies Worldwide Webgames Championships

Esports Today in 2019

Since online streaming services have become extremely popular in the past few years, Esports has never been as popular as it is in 2019. Another major thing that happened to increase the popularity of Esports today was the merging of two online gaming powerhouses, Electronic Sports League and Japan Competitive Gaming. Not to mention to pro players within Esports leagues have the potential to win a ton of cash when they enter in major competitions.