The rise of MOBAs and eSports

eSportsThe past few years have shown wonderful growth in video games.  From graphics all the way to decision making gameplay, games now are different than they were just 5 years ago. 

In 2003, a mod for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos emerged.  This mod, Defense of the Ancients (DotA) become one of the most popular mods of all time earning respect from the original developers of the game and even being granted its own genre, MOBA.  Though the MOBA name had not yet come to be popular.  Years since, DotA become an extremely popular game and even sparked sales for W3’s expansion from people who had no interest in buying the game at all.  Because of this, DotA is credited to have started something great.

However, by 2008 no real progress had been made by the MOBA scene, and DotA was all there was.  So, by 2009 a game, now known as the most popular MOBA game in the world, League of Legends was released.  Around the same time, Valve had begun the Development for its 2013 release of “Dota 2”, however many, including myself believe the 4 year time gap between these two games is one of the biggest reasons League of Legends and Dota 2 are so far apart in player base.  Since 2014, there have been a metric ton of “MOBAs”.  Some, not so great.  However, games like Smite and Heroes of the Storm have really given just enough of a twist on how the games are played to keep them relevant.  But, let there be no doubt, League is still the most popular and well known MOBA to date.

In 2010, the release of Starcraft II jump started the eSports with blizzard hosting tournaments to help promote the game.  This sparked a massive explosion into the gaming world with more games being accepted into competition (eSports) gaming.  Games like StarCraft II, Hearthstone, League of Legends, Rocket League (newest edition) Counter Strike: GO , Smite, Dota, and Heroes of the Storm are leading the charge in eSports are setting a new standard on competitive competition gaming.

Earlier this year, a CS:GO team was caught using Adderall, to enhance their focus to be able to play better.  Since then, eSports organization, Electronic Sports League (ESL) has made drug testing mandatory.  We expect other organizations, such as Major League Gaming (MLG) to adopt this policy as well, for if eSports are to ever adapt, drugs cannot be in the picture. 

eSports is growing extremely fast, with Heroes of the Storm making its way to ESPN as a collegiate-level match between UC Berkeley and Arizona State. That match, the final of a tournament series consisting of 64 colleges, made ESPN 2 the number 1 trend on twitter for the USA region.

I would expect, in a few years’ time, eSports will be seen as a regular on paid TV, have it already dominating the Gaming Streaming sites.  And, may one day even be seen as a “norm”.  Even as I write this in Word, eSports does not have a blue, or red line under it… It has already been added to its vocabulary.

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