Esports Boom

January 4, 2019 • Volume 29, Issue 1
Does competitive video gaming need tighter regulation?
By Patrick Marshall


Competitive video gaming has evolved far beyond its arcade roots into a global phenomenon in which professional players compete for tournament purses totaling more than $25 million as millions of fans watch in person or online. The rapid growth of esports, based on popular games such as League of Legends and Dota 2, is drawing lucrative corporate sponsorships and major investors, including Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who sees the industry's prospects as “incredibly significant.” Meanwhile, at least 110 colleges and universities have established esports programs, and some have built video gaming arenas and even offer scholarships to top players. On the high-stakes, globalized professional side, the rapid rise of competitive gaming has raised concerns about underage gambling, match-fixing, sexism and other issues. The industry has taken steps to police itself, but some experts say an independent body is needed to enforce consistent standards and address corruption as more money flows into esports.

Fans of competitive video gaming react to action taking place (AFP Getty Images/Christophe Simon)
Fans of competitive video gaming react to action taking place on a giant display screen during a League of Legends match between professional esports teams Misfits Gaming and G2 Esports in Paris on Sept. 3, 2017. (AFP Getty Images/Christophe Simon)
ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Professional Sports
Mar. 03, 2023  Professional Video Gaming
Jan. 04, 2019  Esports Boom
Sep. 04, 2015  NFL Controversies
Jan. 29, 2010  Professional Football Updated
Apr. 03, 2009  Extreme Sports
Jul. 23, 2004  Sports and Drugs Updated
Sep. 25, 1998  The Future of Baseball
Feb. 10, 1995  The Business of Sports
Apr. 22, 1994  Soccer in America
Jul. 26, 1991  Athletes and Drugs
Feb. 09, 1990  Free Agency: Pro Sports' Big Challenge
Apr. 08, 1988  High Stakes of Sports Economics
Jan. 27, 1984  Advances in Athletic Training
May 21, 1982  Soccer in America
Jun. 28, 1974  Sports Business
Sep. 01, 1971  Professional Athletes
Jun. 12, 1963  Deaths and Injuries in Sports
Jul. 27, 1951  Monopoly Controls in Organized Sport
Computers and the Internet
Consumer Behavior
Economic Analyses, Forecasts, and Statistics
General International Relations
Internet and Social Media
Popular Culture
Sports and Recreation
Telecommunications and Wireless Technologies