Esports tournaments have been a growing phenomenon around the world. South Korea is at the forefront of the e-sporting community with widespread popularity dating back to 1997. India has recently found its footing in this field.
So what is Esports?
The world of competitive video gaming garnering millions of fans across the globe. Competitors from different teams (leagues) battle each other in popular video games while being watched by millions of fans through live streams on platforms like Twitch and sometimes earn billions of dollars.
Recently during a panel at Comic-Con India, we heard about how the gaming community in India is growing massively due to the accessibility of content online. Gaming is finally being looked at as an industry rather than just a source of entertainment. We have platforms like GamerJi and The Esports Club in India to explore this platform.
PubG the online multiplayer battle royale game is a development of a subsidiary of South Korean video game company Bluehole and published PUBG Corporation. This game has garnered over 50M downloads in India and is the second most-consumed game here. We have seen many instances of K-pop idols playing this addicting shooter game, SNSD’s Taeyeon, Exo’s Sehun and Chanyol, Apink’s Hayoung and Bomi and many more.
Taeyeon and Sunny playing PubG
With video games being a topic of conversation recently, we have been seeing some Korean dramas depicting the gaming world too! 2016’s woman at a game company with Red Velvet’s Irene, and more recently Netflix’s memories of Alhambra has taken our screens by storm and given us a little insight into augmented reality games. Chinese member Wang Yibo of K-pop group UNIQ has also acted in a Chinese esports drama ‘Gank your heart‘ that a love story set in the twisted world of esports.
South Korea’s love for gaming is so deep-rooted because when esports was in its initial stages the government introduced a national broadband network. A few years later in the year 2000, the Korea Esports Association under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism was formed.
Fun Fact: In 2005 the world’s first esports centric stadium in the world was built in Yongsan district.
Photo credits: Time Out
‘PC bangs’ are frequented by many a main character in our favourite teen Korean dramas and our favourite idols too. The idea of being able to laze all day in these fancy gamer chairs along with some ramyeon, corn dogs, chips and other convenience store foods. A dream for many young Indians.
Photo credits: Seoul insider’s Guide
What are your favourite online games? Would you consider esports as an actual sport? Who are the idols you enjoy watching play? Let us know in the comments down below and on our social media!