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California is North America’s eSports Hub

eSports are gaining traction around the world. And California and East Asia are the emerging centers of the industry. 

eSports are gaining traction around the world. And California and East Asia are the emerging centers of the industry.  After years of working their way into the spotlight, we are well beyond debates about whether they are true athletes, and deep in the territory of respectability. These folks are truly impressive, and their sponsors and prize pools attest to their skills.

With huge fan bases online, eSports have only grown during the pandemic, as they can safely play while respecting social distance. More and more people are joining eSports, as fans, bettors, or players. Let’s take an overview of what eSports are and what is happening specifically in California.

eSports Bring in Lots of Money

eSports are a billion dollar industry. Of course, for most of us, we will not be able to access the big-dollar prizes, but we can still find other ways to bring in the dough. Fans wagered more than $1.5 billion thus far in 2020. To get in on this, click here, including eSports, via online betting sites. This is the easiest and fastest way to get in on the action.

Of course, you should do your research first. You can watch any number of live streaming games on Youtube, or more importantly, Twitch. Twitch is the world’s leading live streaming platform, especially for gamers. You can watch your favorite stars battle each other or navigate open arena games.

Setting up a Twitch account is a must if you want to get into eSports.

But of course, so much of the money comes in the form of prizes. And the awards just keep growing! The League of Legends World Championship in 2020 has a prize of more than $2.5 million. That is quite the way to celebrate a ten-year anniversary.

Prize pools are able to keep growing because more and more people are tuning in. The 2019 LoL Championship brought in over 100 million views.

These figures are nothing compared to DotA2 (Defense of the Ancients). The 2019 total prize pool for their International 10 was $34 million. It is no wonder that California wants in on this big ball of money.

This is why the University of California at irvine has eSports clubs, teams, and even articles discussing ethos. This is why the chain Esports Arenas opened their first location in Orange COunty, California. This is a continuation of the Dot Com boom, and part of the rich cultural exchange across the Pacific Ocean.

What Exactly Are eSports?

eSports are video games, which people play against each other at professional level, competitively in organized leagues and tournaments, winning money as prizes.

eSports saw a boom in popularity in the 2000s, when live streaming and transnational competitions became more accessible through high speed internet.

Amateur video game competitions have long been part of gamer culture. But the transformation into professional sport has involved sponsorships, the creation of transnational leagues, and establishing teams with set rosters. This is the story of the transformation from pastime to professional sport.

While there is no definitive list of eSports, as many are professionalizing as we speak, we can talk about the big four. These are the four largest eSports in terms of prize pools and views.

League of Legends

League of Legends, or LoL, is an online open arena battle game where multiple players compete against each other in teams of five. Each player selects a hero with unique attributes and weaknesses. The goal is to defeat the other team’s nexus.


Overwatch is a multiplayer, first-person shooter. Each player selects one of 30 characters, and then teams fight for control of the map. The game is now available on gaming consoles, including Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One.


Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a multiplayer first person shooter that is more realistic than the other eSports on this list. Here terrorists work to carry out attacks, while counter-terrorists work to squash the plot.


Defense of the Ancients is an open-arena multiplayer game developed by Blizzard. It is a pioneer of the freemium model wherein the majority of the game is free, with the option for paid upgrades. The goal of the game is to capture the other teams Ancient, while defending yours.

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