It came out of nowhere. It was every gamer’s dream to get paid to play video games competitively—then, what seemed like overnight, gamers were earning millions of dollars in prize money at international tournaments attended by thousands of fans. We are now living in the golden age of esports. If you are ever looking to turn your hobby into a professional career—or trying to have fun on a professional level—visit Magic Micro Computers today to purchase a custom gaming computer.

History of eSports

It may seem like an overnight phenomenon for the layman, but the development of esports has been going on since the late ’90s and early 2000s. It was a fairly niche scene, and only saw popularity in South Korea—courtesy of state-sponsored broadband development. Games like Counter-Strike and StarCraft created the foundations of what many consider to be modern esports.

As popularity in South Korea built up, esports began to catch on in Europe. Tournaments that were originally held once a year were being held once a month by the late 2000s. What began as a regional sensation in South Korea quickly became a global sensation. However, there was still one significant problem: live video streaming was too costly.

Fortunately, when 2010 arrived, the cost of live video streaming was not only cheaper, but the technology allowed gamers to stream video directly from their computers. There was no need for cameramen or expensive licensing fees. Competitive gaming tournaments started happening every single weekend, all around the world.

With the advent of cheaper streaming, Twitch emerged in 2011 as a dedicated service for video game streaming from personal computers. This resulted in a dedicated community where gamers could communicate, broadcast, and watch each other. As a result, the numbers grew...and grew...and grew.

In the period from 2011 to 2017, players and viewers of games like League of Legends went from thousands to millions. Other games saw similar growth in their popularity. Just in the last few years, esports has shown no signs of stopping. Games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and DOTA continue to gain momentum in the esports arena.

There are dedicated team houses and corporate sponsorships for teams and players. The prize money has grown to eight figures, and esports is now a billion dollar industry. There are celebrity endorsements, and some gamers have become household names.

The Tech Behind the Boom

While so much of esports relied on fandom and advancements in streaming technology, it is crucial to note that computer graphics and processors improved drastically over the last few years, allowing gamers to both stream and play without losing CPU performance.

If you are considering getting into esports, one of the most important things you can do is study the professionals. As mentioned earlier, Twitch is an excellent platform to see incredibly talented gamers do their thing. It may seem overwhelming at first, but find the winner of a recent tournament, and study them to see why they won.

The more you watch the techniques of these ultra-competitive gamers, the more you will learn from them. Often times video game characters will have unique movement combinations that will exploit the code in the game, allowing you to take advantage of glitches on the scale of a few pixels—and while that may seem absurd, when you're doing hundreds of combination actions a minute, a few pixels make all the difference.

After you have studied the professionals, you might be thinking about getting a rig that can handle both streaming and high-performance gaming. You’ll want to focus on your CPU, graphics card, and RAM. If you focus on these three essential elements, you’ll have a competitive, custom gaming PC. While the cost for each of these parts alone can reach $500 or more, there are plenty of affordable options out there if you want to stay competitive, but don’t want to take out a loan.

If you are having trouble finding the right mixture of high-quality and affordability for your custom gaming PC, check out Magic Micro Computers. Through our website, you can handpick parts for a PC that we will build for you. Save yourself the hassle of ordering individual parts and then taking weeks to build your PC. Let the professionals do their jobs; we do the building, you do the playing.