The eSports industry is one of the great success stories of the 2010s, going from relative obscurity to global phenomenon in a few short years. There are numerous reasons why the industry is worth more than $1 billion in 2021, with improving technology and advanced games being major contributors. But there are other factors that acted like the sparks that helped light the kindling in the early days. Slots, for instance, helped online players feel comfortable in playing games over a worldwide network.
Slots Showed The Power of The Network
It could be argued that the idea of having many people playing the same game at the same time was made mainstream by online slots. The reel-spinning games are the most popular gambling offerings by some margin, and they have advanced greatly during the internet era. One of the most ground-breaking innovations was the progressive jackpot game, which features a rolling jackpot generated by thousands of players all over the world on an interconnected network.
Microgaming’s Mega Moolah was one of the first slots of this kind, and it has remained hugely popular since its inception in 2009. The game plays like a regular slot and pays out to players based on what occurs on the reels. However, it also provides the additional chance to win the progressive jackpot, which is paid out like a lottery. The game is famous for having broken various world records over the years, and gained widespread attention in 2015 when it awarded more than £13 million to one player.
Slots like this reached a huge audience, as the online casino sector is the most lucrative offshoot of the gaming industry as a whole. They helped players realise that it was safe to play games over a network, when thousands of others were also logged in at the same time. This could have been a major factor in making people more comfortable with playing online games, without having to worry about security issues when in the same online location as others.
What Were The Other Main Factors?
Of course, with a gargantuan industry like eSports, it is impossible to pinpoint one thing as the thing that started it all. Slots could have played a role in helping people feel safer when playing over networks, but there were numerous other forces at play in propelling the industry to the heights of today.
Twitch, for example, could be thanked for bringing about the idea of spectatorship when it comes to games. Prior to the days of the streaming service, gaming was mainly thought of solely as a singular experience. But since 2011, when the platform first emerged, the market for watching others play games has grown exponentially. This is highlighted by the fact that by 2014 the site had 45 million unique viewers.
Advanced games that allow for a wide range of skill levels between players also helped the competitive gaming industry to boom. Thanks to offerings like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends, it became more apparent that there were certain people who were gifted with enhanced video game skills. People were suddenly able to train to get better, and with a purpose as well. As games progress even more in the future, the world could see a number of famous eSports athletes.
The success of the eSports industry comes down to a number of factors, but there is some evidence to suggest slots could have contributed. Not only did they help people feel more secure at playing online, they also showed the power of the network in connecting players all over the world.