eSports are still a relatively new phenomenon. Since 2000, tournaments have skyrocketed due to landmark launches such as the World Cyber Games and the Electronic Sports World Cup. The biggest and most successful league currently is Major League Gaming (launched in 2002) which can now afford to hand out sums of prize money that were unthinkable even a decade ago.
Multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs), first-person shooters, fighting and real-time strategy are the most common genres taken up by competitions, with some of the biggest eSports games being Dota 2, League of Legends, StarCraft II, and Call of Duty. The International, the League of Legends World Championship, the Evolution Championship Series and the Intel Extreme Masters are some of the biggest competitions around today.
As South Korea was the first environment in which eSports were taken seriously, it has become the flagship of the industry, with other countries falling behind in terms of quality and quantity of professional players. Due to strict gambling laws in Japan, industry growth has been inhibited in that region. However, global engagement continues to grow. 27 million people watched the 2014 League of Legends World Championship, compared to the 18 million who watched the 2015 NBA Finals.
For more information about the dramatic rise in popularity that eSport has seen along with some fascinating facts and figures, check out the following infographic put together by computerplanet.