Published on February 19th, 2024 | by Byliner

Leveling up together: How eSports has grown to be more than just a game @Intel

The cliché about gamers is they’re all teenage boys locked in front of their computers wearing big headsets and ignoring their personal hygiene. But the reality is, gamers are a diverse bunch of people of all ages, genders, and orientations who have created inclusive communities around the gaming lifestyle, communities that have been boosted in recent years as eSports has exploded in popularity.

However, these gaming communities aren’t a recent development. From the beginning of electronic gaming in the early 70’s, such as the first ever mass-produced game Pong, people have always come together over their shared passion for gaming. Arcades were the first places these communities developed, where kids (and some adults) would compete against one another for the kudos of racking up the highest scores on games like Pacman and Space Invaders.

The Evolution of Gaming

Arcades were one thing, but it was the birth of home computers that lead to video games evolving into what we recognise today. Suddenly, personal computing power was something you could buy at the mall and bring home, allowing for the development of complex games like Mystery House, Rogue, and Legend of Zelda.

This boom in processing power let developers get creative and games became started to become more story-driven, rather than just about how good your reflexes were. As computers evolved, so did the communities around them. LAN parties became popular in the 90s and early 2000s before they gave way to the massive, multiplayer online games and communities brought about by ubiquitous high-speed broadband. Today’s graphics cards have introduced advanced capabilities and features such as performance hybrid, making the process of gaming, streaming, and recording, more efficient along with ray tracing creating more realistic and visually stunning games. With these technologies and the processing power now available, game developers can create immersive worlds and experiences with innovative gameplay. In the coming years, improvements in processing power means graphics will rival what we see today in blockbuster movies.

The Growth of eSports

The emergence and growth of eSports also represents another fundamental shift in gaming culture, just like those LAN parties did all those years ago. eSports has captured the attention of competitive gamers, as well as enthralled a growing world-wide audience of spectators. The eSports audience is projected to reach 440.8 million people by 2025, according to a report by Statista. As the barriers to entry fall, allowing even more gamers and fans to pour in. The popularity of eSports among competitors and spectators alike has turned it into a massive multi-million-dollar industry, one that’s beginning to overshadow film and TV.

At the very centre of this fast-growing industry is Intel which has made significant investments in world class eSports experiences through Intel Extreme Masters (IEM), Intel World Open and Intel Inspires, among many others. Powered by Intel Core processors – such as the Intel Core family – Intel creates hardware that provides an optimal balance for gameplay, streaming and creator performance. The popularity of these events, such as the return of IEM to Sydney in 2023, illustrates how, at its core, gaming communities are all about inclusion.

A 2023 study showed eSports as one of them most inclusive and diverse activities in the world with people of all backgrounds, genders, and age involved in the eSports ecosystem. These inclusive gaming communities also offer an opportunity for kids, who may have been lonely, ostracised for not having a ‘cool’ hobby, or introverted and struggled to shine in front of a crowd to find a likeminded group of people with whom they can share their passion. Platforms such as Twitch allow those participating – and the even greater number of people watching – to engage with their favourite content creators, form new friendships and build relationships with like-minded folk.

At its core, eSports has contributed to the growth of a worldwide community, bringing together people with a shared passion to an open and inclusive space. eSports created the opportunity for people to leave their screens behind and come together to meet their gaming buddies in real life, attending events that celebrate what they love. This has contributed to the growth of a multi-billion industry as the number of participants grows along with the prize pools on offer. With the leaps in seen in the popularity of eSports and the creation of these community spaces in the last year, we can only imagine the growth to come in the next 20.

Byliner by Intel


About the Author'

Back to Top ↑