It is generally accepted that eSports began in 1980 with Atari’s Space Invaders Championship in the US. This event attracted more than 10,000 competitors and led to the foundation later that year of Twin Galaxies.
Set up by Walter Day, this organization kept a record of and published high scores. Twin Galaxies went on to create the US National Video Game Team in 1983 and set up competitions like the North American Video Game Challenge tournament.
The Early Years of the 1980s
Throughout the late 1980s, tournaments for arcade and console games (now more affordable) became increasingly common. Significantly, companies like BlockBuster Video and Nintendo began sponsoring world championships.
The 1990 Nintendo World Championships toured the US, with the final at Universal Studios Hollywood in California. Blockbuster’s World Game Championships in the early 1990s went one step further and included competitors from the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and Chile.
Since the turn of the millennium, eSports has gone truly global. In 2000, the World Cyber Games and the Electronic Sports World Cup were both launched. These are major international annual tournaments that are still held today.
The 2000s also saw a rise in big money prizes on offer and the growth of televised tournaments.
Since then the popularity of eSports has rocketed, with more professional players, regular international competitions and big prize money available, let’s take a look how far eSports has come with this infographic created by Computer Planet: