The Evolution of Esports

 

Competitive Gaming is Shaping the Future of Technology

The esports industry has seen exponential growth over the last decade. Cleverly dubbed the era of “esports adolescence”, the rise of streaming platforms such as YouTube and Twitch monetized competitive gaming. During this time, classic games such as Mario Smash were coupled with game designer-tuned breakouts such as League of Legends and Overwatch as fan favorites to play and watch.

Esports are not a new phenomenon. Starting in the 70s, arcade games were developed to encourage high-score face-offs by the inclusion of scoreboards with the ability to capture a player’s initials. LAN parties, connecting players through Local Access Networks, became a favorite of college students when computer connectivity arrived on campus. Gaming culture entwines with pop culture, tech, and, as titles are developed specifically with professional play in mind, competition, and high stakes.

Sold-out stadiums, such as Madison Square Garden, for professional championships boasting huge prize pools, are new on the scene. Akin to professional sports, franchised teams compete in intense battles of endurance to the cheers of fans.

The Olympic Games are including esports in their festivities, citing that “competitive esports could be considered a sporting activity, and the players involved prepare and train with an intensity which may be comparable to athletes in traditional sports”. The International Olympic Committee recently announced that it organized a slate of five esports events staged before the summer games in Tokyo.

Within the larger gaming ecosystem, there is exciting progress at the colligate level. Well over 100 programs for college-level competitive gaming are in place. As collegiate esports become something that students expect to see offered, along similar lines with other extracurriculars such as traditional sports, colleges are scrambling to recruit, build infrastructure, and support demand for esports programs.

American Technology Services (ATS) is proud to be the founding sponsor of Pace University’s esports building and team. Coupled with the growing demand for esports is the need for campus-based modern esports facilities designed to handle rapidly expanding rosters.

ATS is active in fostering the local NYC tech community, from hosting lunch-n-learn sessions to organizing deep tech meetups. It was a natural progression for ATS to bolster the new Pace University esports program. This ethos was solidified when the team came to visit the New York office (blocks away from campus) to play virtual reality games and learn about the people and processes that make ATS a front-running cybersecurity and innovation company.

ATS is active in enabling frontier technologies, such as video game and metaverse development using Unity and Unreal game engines. As the esports program grows, ATS looks forward to supporting the players and the program at Pace University.