History of Esports | Endgame Esports

History of Esports: How It All Began

If you’re looking for more precise or detailed information about the history of esports, then this blog can help you. Esports, often known as electronic sports, are video game competitions in which teams or professional players compete against one another in a variety of multiplayer games. Esports traces its origins back to 1972, the year when home consoles first became widely used. So, now, let’s dive into its humble beginnings and know the key development that shaped the esports industry.

Key Developments that Shaped Esports to its Current Prominence

Early Competitions

At Stanford University, in 1972, its Artificial Intelligence Laboratory hosted the world’s first eSports tournament—Intergalactic Spacewar Olympics. In the following years, tournaments and competitions emerge. It is usually held in arcades, featuring games like Pong, Space Invaders, and Pac-Man.

Rise of Arcade Gaming

The esports industry was greatly influenced by the popularity of arcade games like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. It draws competitive players to arcades, where they face off in fighting game competitions or compete for the highest scores. These arcade competitions promote skill development, community building, and the growth of the esports scene.

LAN Parties and Local Competitions

With the arrival of personal computers and LANs or Local Area Networks, gamers started organising LAN parties and local competitions. These significant events were often held in a social and competitive setting, bringing players together and contributing to the growth of the esports community.

The Emergence of Cyberathlete Professional League

CPL or the Cyberathlete Professional League was one of the first professional esports organisations that played a crucial role in popularising the esports industry. Its emergence marked a significant milestone in the professionalisation of competitive gaming and set the way for esports’ expansion and global acceptance.

Online Gaming and Professional Leagues

The development of online gaming platforms and the introduction of broadband internet access played a vital role in esports growth and professionalisation. Online games like Dota and Counter-Strike were among the leading factors in popularising competitive gaming. As a result, it leads to the establishment of professional leagues, tournaments, and esports organisations worldwide.

Streaming Platforms and Global Recognition

Streaming platforms are one of the leading tools that bring esports to the masses. In addition, on-demand platforms like Twitch and Youtube are vital in providing access to esports content. These platforms provide convenience and accessibility, giving viewers the advantage to watch esports games anytime, anywhere. The streaming platform also has played a crucial role in the global recognition of esports by providing a dedicated space for esports content, allowing fans to access and engage it with no problem.

These key developments, from early competitions to the emergence of professional organisations and the impact of online gaming and streaming platforms, have collectively shaped and propelled the eSports industry to its current prominence. As a result, the history of esports is proof of the gamers’ tenacity, passion, and commitment and the industry’s ongoing development. From its humble origins in arcades and universities to becoming a global sensation, esports has undergone significant transformations.

How Did Esports Start and Its Significant Timeline 

How did esports start and what significant esports timeline has helped the industry to reach its prominence? If you’re a gamer or a parent with this question in mind, allow us to help you get the right answers. Below is a brief overview of how esports started and some significant milestones in its timeline:

  • 1972 – The first video game tournament ever: At Stanford University, students engaged in the first recorded video game competition called “Spacewar.”
  • 1980 – Atari sponsored the first significant video game tournament. More than 10,000 people participated from all across the country, making competitive gaming a popular pastime.
  • 1982 – 1984 – This year brought the Starcade. It is a TV game show that features video game competitions between contestants. It is also one of the earliest attempts to bring esports to a wider audience.
  • 1990 – 1999 – Formation of Cyberathlete Professional League. Release of Street Fighter II (1991) and Red Annihilation Quake Tournament (1997). The release of StarCraft by Blizzard Entertainment in (1998).
  • 2000 – 2009 – The formation of World Cyber Games (WCG) (2000). Rise of South Korean esports dominance, especially in StarCraft: Brood War. The release of Dota (2003). It is also the growth of streaming platforms.
  • 2010 – 2019 – The rise of League of Legends (2010). The League of Legends: Season 2 World Championship October of 2012. The United States officially recognised esports (2013). Esports were featured at the Asian Games (2018) in Jakarta, Indonesia. Fortnite World Cup (2019), featuring a massive prize pool of $30 million.
  • 2020 – 2022 – League of Legends (2020) World Championship — the most-watched esports broadcast in history. Esports generated $243 million in revenue in the U.S. and about $360 million in China (2021). Global esports audience reaches 532 million viewership (2022). 

In conclusion, esports has come a long way and is still evolving rapidly. From its origins in the 1970s to its current prominence, the industry continuously experiences significant developments and notable milestones. With that, it has transformed from a niche hobby to a global phenomenon, capturing the attention of millions of fans worldwide.

The Right Esports Centre Near You!

If you’re on the lookout for the best spot or the right esports in Brisbane, you don’t have to look any further. Endgame Esports is your go-to centre for unparalleled gaming experiences. We provide state-of-the-art facilities for casual gaming and have the most entertaining esports birthday party venue for you. So what are you waiting for? Book us now and immerse yourself in the world of competitive gaming!


Who invented esports?

  • The video game company Atari is the one that is responsible for inventing esports. They’re the ones that held the Space Invaders Championship in 1980. This early game classic attracted around 10,000 participants to win a version of Asteroids.

How long has esports been around?

  • The esports industry has been around for many years now, although its popularity and structure have evolved. The earliest organised competitive gaming can be traced back between the 1970s and 1980s when video game tournaments were held for games like Space Invaders.
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