Over the past couple of weeks people across the world would have turned on their televisions and found themselves watching something that they were not familiar with. Whether it be daytime TV or late-night chat shows, the world of esports has been brought into the spotlight.
The Fortnite World Cup took place in New York on 26th and 27th July and saw a sixteen-year-old take home $3million. Kyle Giersdorf beat off 200 finalists-with an average age of 16-in the grand finale to a packed-out Arthur Ashe Stadium. To get there though, the schoolboy from Pennsylvania was part of the 40 million gamers who competed to qualify for the final. That is more than the population of Canada.
2.7 million people are recorded to have watched the solo final however the actual figure may be far higher if Facebook and YouTube viewers were included. Viewers were able to engage with the tournament using the hashtag and watching their favourite YouTuber vlog the event.
In the days that followed the press could not get enough of this story with Giersdorf partaking in a series of interviews including an appearance on the Jimmy Fallon Show which has now been viewed on YouTube over 3.3 million times.
The following weekend saw the FIFA eWorld Cup return to London’s o2 Arena. The three-day event resulted in MoAuba becoming Germany’s first ever winner and taking home $250,000. The championship attracted much media attention with Sky Sports dedicating large amounts of coverage to it and many major news outlets have reported on the results.
This all feeds into the growing momentum eSports is gaining and could mark the start of the rise of the esports celebrity which could be vital in bringing more and more interest in eSports.
eSports taking up time on mainstream television two weekends running is testament to how far it has come in increasing its profile as a sport. Coupled with mounting claims for inclusion in the Olympics this could be a watershed moment in the history of eSports.