Like most things nowadays, even the arena of sports has moved to the internet. Many people find this shocking information. After all, isn’t a lack of physical activity the antithesis of sport. But, studies show that esports is a billion-dollar industry.
Not restricted to the west, competitive gaming has become an international phenomenon. Top-level players in the world of esports make millions off of live games, streaming, and endorsements.
What are esports?
The term refers specifically to competitive gaming, takes place entirely online, and involves popular video games like Fortnite, Call of Duty, League of Legends, and Counter-Strike. The competitors form teams and battle it out on the field. Practice matches alone take months.
Millions of die-hard fans tune in to watch the games. Some even spend hundreds of dollars on tickets for live events. People form fandoms supporting their favorite players, develop rivalries, and spend a lot of time and emotional energy following the matches.
When the League of Legends 2017 World Championship occurred, the total views for the matches exceeded 80 million. Ticket sales alone made around 5.5 million dollars. Now the NBA is even launching a professional draft for an online basketball team to compete in the esports world.
Who watches esports?
If you aren’t a regular esports watcher, then all this may seem a bit insane to you. But, analytics show that up to 380 million viewers will tune into the esports games in the coming year. Of these, 165 million are not merely viewers but enthusiasts or die-hard fans. And the majority of these fans are from three major countries, the United States of America, China, and South Korea.
That’s right, Koreans love esports and competitive game. It has become something of national past time, especially among younger people, teenagers, and students.
What is happening in the world of esports in Korea?
The latest news to rock the Korean arena of esports comes from Lee Sang-ho. The extremely popular online sensation has announced the launch of his esports team. This news comes highly awaited by fans, players, and viewers alike.
What do we know about the team?
Little information about the team is known. But, Ashley Kang confirmed on Twitter that the team is named Seorabeol Gaming. Once the players are chosen, and the team put together, Seorabeol Gaming will look towards qualifying first for the Challengers Korea tournament and then taking the gaming world by storm. Ultimately they hope to rank in the LCK or League of Legends Champions Korea.
Fans are speculating whether it has anything to do with the hotel chain by the same name. However, no connection has been uncovered yet.
Who are the founding members?
In addition to its name, information is known about the identities of three of the founding members of Seorabeol Gaming. First, we have Park “Thal” Kwon-hyuk who is known for his brilliant career on the Hanwha Life Esports team, a popular Korean League of Legends team. Second, is Nam “Lira” Tae-yoo, an active player in the competitive esports community since 2013. And finally, we have Gwon “Sangyoon” Sang-yun.
With these expert players on the roster, the team is off to a brilliant start. Also, the founder Lee Sang-ho has listed himself as a substitute player. So, we may get to see him play on his own team.
Seorabeol Gaming: Applications are open
With three spots filled and the rest remaining, the applications for Seorabeol are open to all competitive gamers. No previous experience is required, so fresh talent has a chance to earn themselves a spot on the team. Gamers are needed to fill both the middle lane and support roles. However, other professional LCK players are on the market for the upcoming season and might join the roster for Seorabeol. We will have to wait and see how the players shuffle in 2020.