The World of eSports

The World of eSports

Who would’ve thought twenty years ago that playing video games could make you serious money? 


The internet has enabled gamers to unite across the globe and to challenge each other in an exciting industry that has gained a tremendous amount of prominence in the last decade.

Otherwise known as electronic sports, eSports is a form of competition by using video games.


The sport has elevated to such a high level that participants are referred to as professional gamers. Multiplayer online battle arena, first-person shooter, digital collectible card games and fighters are some of the most common video game genres associated with eSports.


Some of the popular eSports titles include League of Legends, Call of Duty and Counter-Strike.

eSports has gained a lot of prominence in the last decade, but many people will be surprised to discover that the sport’s origin dates back to the ‘70s. 


Many people recognize the first official eSports competition on record to be the Stanford University (SU) held one on October 19, 1972. Since then, the sport has come a long way and contributed tremendously to global wealth. 


The students at SU gathered to compete in Spacewar, a space combat game first developed in 1962. The top prize was a one year’s subscription to Rolling Stone magazine. The winner was Bruce Baumgart. (14)


How Popular is it?

The sport has become so popular that Goldman Sachs analysts have voiced their projections about it. 


A Goldman Sachs analyst wrote that the eSports industry had a larger audience than Major League Baseball, excluding China. 


A New Zoo, gaming market researcher, survey indicated that 167 million people were competitive eSports gamers at the end of 2018 and that the figure would rise to 276 million by 2022. (1)


Here’s who leads the pack in eSports prominence:


“China has been ahead of the curve on this; all of Asia really,” says Menashe Kestenbaum, CEO of Enthusiast Gaming in Toronto. “If you see an arena jam-packed with gamers, it’s probably somewhere in China or South Korea,” he says.


The sport has become so popular in China that the country is building the world’s largest gamer theme park. (2)


The park is currently under construction and set to be the size of an average Six Flags Amusement Park and slated for completion in 2022.


The global games market generated over $138 billion in 2018. China had over 700 million gamers, making it a prime destination for gaming companies. (2)


One of the main reasons that eSports has taken off is due to the support of the Chinese government, which believes that eSports is the future of gaming.


The Chinese government has taken the industry seriously since its gaming market contributed $32.5 billion in 2018 to the economy. (3)


The thriving gaming industry started off in South Korea, but it’s China that has seen unprecedented growth. 


China’s massive expansion meant that it surpassed the U.S. market.


Businesses have seen the impact that eSports has on the economy and have tried to get their share of the pie. Newzoo data revealed that the eSports industry generated $660 million in 2017 with China making up 16% of that. (4)


The global market had a revenue of $900 million in 2018.


Price Waterhouse Coopers has estimated that the global revenue from eSports will be $1.6 billion by 2022. (5)


While China’s gaming industry booms, the rest of the world is playing catch-up.


Japan is another market that contributes greatly to the gaming market. Japanese gaming companies contributed $19.2 billion to the country’s economy in 2018. Sadly, revenue from Japan’s eSports market in 2018 was only $44.2 million. 


Although the comparison of eSports contribution to the economy was less than 1% of the gaming industry, the country’s eSports revenue was $3 million in 2017. (13)


One of the problems that the eSports industry in Japan has faced is legal restrictions. Legislation such as the Penal Code, the Premium Act and the Fueiho Law have gotten in the way of the industry’s prosperity. (13)


Does it Pay?

South Korea is the sixth biggest eSports market, but many people consider the country to be the pioneer of eSports. 


Lee Sang-hyeok (Faker) at LoL World Championship 2013

Lee Sang-hyeok, a South Korean eSports world champion, demands a salary of $3 million annually. Lee Dae-ho, a professional baseball player, receives an annual salary of $2.5 million by comparison. (5)


The average annual salary of a South Korean professional gamer was $150,000 in 2018. (6) 

A government report stated that South Korea’s eSports industry increased by 4.2% in 2017 to $87 million. (6)


The United States Strives to Compete in the World of Gaming

The U.S. is hot on the heels of China. 


Although the gaming industry in the U.S. was making money off video games since the ‘90s, it was Blizzard Entertainment’s release of StarCraft in 2010 that catapulted eSports in the country. 


Major League Gaming (MLG) is one of the most prominent eSports organizations in the world and helped to pioneer the sport in the country. 


The company’s latest tournament, Call of Duty World Championship, invited 32 of the world’s best teams to compete for $1.5 million in prizes. (7)


How’s that for prestige mode?


The highest-earning player in the U.S. made just over $3 million. The second highest-earning player made $2.98 million. (8)


The good news is that you don’t have to be the best player in the country to make a good living from eSports. Thanks to certain leagues, the average eSports competitor can live off of playing video games.


Riot Games’ League of Legends was the first league to provide salaries for every starter in 2013. The company’s goal was to offer stability that no other eSports could rival. Numerous North American professional players make an average annual salary of $320,000 by playing League of Legends alone. (9)


“These days, now that the path to pro is well established, and there are nearly 1,000 pros globally making a living off of playing League of Legends professionally, we look at player salaries continuing to rise and new player benefits (insurance, 401k, etc) as evidence of a healthy ecosystem,” said Chris Hopper, head of North American eSports at Riot Games.


The average annual salary of the pros in the League of Legends averages the same salary as an athlete in the Major League Soccer clubs. 


If the salaries for professional players isn’t enough, they can make up for it in the competitions. Xiao Hong, the Dota 2 operator in China, said that the TI9’s prize pool would be $25.5 in 2019. (10)


Chinese teams finished first or second at the Dota 2 competition for the last few years, resulting in the country netting $18 million from the four-team placements. (11)


The average age of players who made the most money was 25.


Audiences

Professional players can make money from lucrative competitions only if the organizers have audiences to show their advertisements to.


A report that Penguin Intelligence released stated that eSports viewers would grow to 350 million in 2019, a 10.6% year-on-year increase. China’s share of the market would be around 75 million fans.


The report also stated that the growth in China’s audiences would create a market of $2 billion by the end of 2019. The growth stems from income generated from tournaments, sponsorships, media rights and money that the players will earn.

Some of the predictions include that 600 million viewers will watch eSports by 2023, an increase of around 79% from 2017, which recorded 335 million viewers. (12)


According to Activate, 62% of U.S viewers were aged 18-34, and 58% had a positive attitude towards partaking in eSports. (12)


Other statistics revealed that Gen Zers were more open-minded toward eSports than other generations. The statistics stated that 56% of US Gen Z men (aged 13-21) said that non-traditional sports were relevant to their generation, and 44% stated the same for traditional sports.


Salaries and competition prize money isn’t the only way that the eSports industry benefits, as sponsorship revenue reached $359 million in 2018. (12)


That is a 53% year-on-year increase.


The increase in viewership and sponsorship has propelled high profile figures to get involved. The sport has taken off so much that celebrities couldn’t resist investing in it. Basketball legend Michael Jordan and platinum-selling artist Drake have invested in the eSports industry.


Final Thoughts

Figures prove that eSports is becoming more popular every year. Not only are players making more money than previous years but businesses have profited by getting involved as sponsors. 

More professional players have emerged due to the large prize pools, and celebrities have become investors in the industry.


With global audiences increasing annually, eSports is set to become the next big sporting event. 

You don’t have to take my word for it. 


All you have to do is look at the salaries of professional eSports competitors. Some of them are making more money than professional athletes involved in traditional sports.


Games like League of Legends have attracted some of the best players in the world, and the organizers have filled up stadiums with fans. 


Although you might have outgrown video games as Michael Jordan and Drake have, isn’t it worthwhile to look at the investment opportunities?

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Is Oymyakon, Siberia the Coldest Place on Earth?

Is Oymyakon, Siberia the Coldest Place on Earth?

Spring is coming.

 

Fortunately, that means warmer weather is on the way if you live in certain parts of the world like the United States.

 

For those living in these places, however, that’s not the case.

 

How cold is it there? Well, in portions of this remote region, the ground never thaws – and it hasn’t in ages.

 

If the temperature outside is cold and you’re dreaming of sunshine, just be thankful you’re not living in the coldest place on earth.

 

Here’s what life is like in Oymyakon, Siberia and other places where the air hurts your face.

 

What Is Temperature in the Coldest Place on Earth?

Oymyakon is an extremely remote village tucked away in the Russia’s Siberia region. The entire region is known for its harsh weather but this town gets the short end of the already short stick.

 

Temperatures in this town average about fifty degrees Fahrenheit below zero in the dead of winter. Yes: -50ºF on average.

 

But negative 50 is the average winter temperature. How cold is it at its coldest?

 

Record temps in this town have reached a terrifying -96.16ºF.

 

What’s Life Like in Oymyakon and Siberia?

Believe it or not, the name Oymyakon actually means “unfrozen water” in Even: one of the Siberian region’s indigenous languages. Although there’s a thermal spring nearby, it’s hard to tell when you’re too focused on your glasses sticking to your face.

 

That makes this village – or selo in Russian – the coldest continuously inhabited place on earth. Most of the people who live here are Yakutians who have lived in Siberia for generations. Some Russians also live here, too.

 

Although they’re very short, the summers range between 60ºF and 70ºF. On a hot day, it might hit 90ºF. Not too bad, right?

 

The warm bursts of weather don’t do much for agriculture. Since the ground never thaws, locals mostly sustain themselves on meat.

 

Because this town is so remote, the population is very small. The province’s capital, Yaktusk, is a little more populated. This village, however, is extremely isolated: there’s only one shop and gas station that stays open throughout the winter.

 

Top 10 Coldest Places: How Cold Is It Exactly?

Now that you have an idea of what life is like in the coldest place on earth, let’s take a look at some of the world’s top 10 coldest places.

 

Pack your fur (or faux fur) coats and lots of ski masks before planning a trip to any of these places. They’re definitely beautiful, but very painful.

 

  1. Snag, Yukon, Canada

The coldest recorded temp in Snag, Yukon reached -80ºF in 1947. This is a very small village in Canada where only a handful of First Nation indigenous people live. Most of them work at the local airport or as weather observers – how appropriate.

 

  1. North Ice, Greenland

The lowest recorded temperature in North Ice hit -86ºF in 1954. Unsurprisingly, British Commander James Simpson founded this landmark as a research station. Although it is no longer operational, its sister station was South Ice in Antartica.

 

  1. Oymyakon, Russia

Yes, this remote village is only number eight on the list. Why is it listed as the coldest place on earth? Because it’s continuously inhabited. You’ll notice most of these other locations are research stations. But then again, someone needs to conduct the research, right?

 

  1. Klinck Research Station, Greenland

At its coldest point in history, the temp dropped below -92.92ºF. This research station stays open year-round.

 

  1. Verkhoyansk, Russia

Russia has a lot of cold places – and most of them are in the Siberian region. Verkhoyansk is no different. Just over 1,000 people live in this remote town. Not only is this one of the coldest places, but Verkhoyansk holds the Guinness World Record for the greatest temperature range: up to 189ºF.

 

  1. Denali Alaska

Yes, Denali is absolutely beautiful, but it’s extremely cold. The lowest recorded number ranks at -100.84ºF. If you want to take a hike here, come prepared: it’s one of the seven most difficult summits in the entire world.

 

  1. Dome Argus, Antarctic Plateau

-116.5ºF is this location’s record temperature. As an ice dome in Antartica, this isn’t surprising.

 

  1. Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica

Get ready for lots of frigid temps and not much activity. The Amundsen-Scott South Poll has dropped below -117.4ºF at its coldest point.

 

  1. Vostok Research Station, Antarctica

The lowest temp here once reached −128.6 °F. Don’t worry, the average summer temp is a sweltering −125.4 °F so pack your swimsuit.

 

  1. Dome Fuji, Antarctica

Here it is: the coldest place on the planet. This place recently hit its record -135.76°F in 2010.

 

Would You Live in the Coldest Place on Earth?

Life isn’t easy in these places. Good luck getting your car to start in the morning. Getting a flat tire could be a death sentence.

 

Although winters are tough in many places, just be glad you don’t live in Siberia.

What You Need to Know About the Keto Diet

What You Need to Know About the Keto Diet

It seems like there’s a new fad diet every month or so.

This one cut carbs. That one monitors your urine.

What is the keto diet and is it safe?

Like most strict diets, the keto diet plan requires careful planning and consideration before jumping into it.

Here’s what it is and how to tell if it’s right for you.

What Is the Keto Diet?

It’s hard not to at least consider a new diet when stars like Kourtney Kardashian and Tim Tebow are already onboard. But what is the keto diet anyway?

This diet has been around for a while but recently started gaining traction at the start of the new year. That’s probably because as people search for ways to meet New Year’s resolutions like losing weight, THE new diet trend is the first thing to come to mind.

This diet revolves around the idea of “detoxing” the body.

Like all “detox” plans, this diet involves strictly limiting certain food groups – carbs in particular.

Your body typically uses whole grains and carbs as its main energy source. With this diet, you force the body to use fat and protein for energy instead.

What Does the Keto Diet Plan Look Like?

Meat lovers will fit right in with this diet since it places such a huge emphasis on proteins and fats.

With this plan, you’ll eat a lot of

  • Eggs
  • Fish like salmon and tuna
  • Cheese and dairy
  • Green veggies like kale, broccoli, and spinach
  • Coffee with grass-fed butter
  • Almonds and nuts
  • Cottage cheese
  • Ground beef like meatloaf
  • Chicken
  • Avocado

Here’s what some of your meals might look like on this plan:

  • Breakfast: Spinach, goat cheese, and egg scramble or chia pudding
  • Lunch: Chicken salad lettuce wraps or tuna salad with cucumber slices
  • Dinner: Cauliflower crust pizza or chicken kabobs
  • Snacks: Celery and hummus, almond butter and celery, coconut milk shake

The idea is that you trick your body into burning fat for energy instead of glucose – this may work for a few weeks. Unfortunately, the evidence doesn’t back this concept up for sustainability because low-carb diets aren’t a great option for long-term weight loss.

If you’re reading this and thinking “that sounds like the Atkin’s diet,” you’re right. Diet companies are great when it comes to rebranding.

Although they aren’t identical, this diet is also very similar to the paleo diet.

What Is Ketosis and Is It Safe?

The thesis of all low-carb diets rests on the idea of ketosis: when your body burns excess fat.

The idea is that you can trick your body into burning fat you already have for energy instead of glucose from carbs. Once you start doing this, you’ve reached a state of ketosis.

Is ketosis safe? Generally, yes.

How do you get into this fat-burning state?

It usually kicks in after severely limiting your carb intake for about three or four days. You need to seriously limit your carbs, too: no sugar, no whole grains, no nothing. In order to reach ketosis, you need to consume less than 50 grams of carbohydrates in three or four days – that’s like 3 slices of bread.

Diabetics should pay close attention to their blood sugar levels while on this diet, too.

If you typically survive on a morning muffin, bagel for lunch, and pizza or pasta for dinner, you aren’t going to like the feeling of going carb-free. Get ready for the keto flu: headaches, nausea, brain fog, bad breath, stinky sweat, and lots of pee.

You’re going pee and sweat a lot while on this diet, so it’s important to drink plenty of water. Without keeping up the water, you could reach dangerous levels of dehydration during ketosis.

Hey, that means it’s working, right?

After some time, there is evidence to suggest this state can actually improve your cognitive function and mental clarity – but you have to make it through the fog first.

Is the Keto Diet Right for You?

It depends on your personal needs.

It doesn’t seem like this diet is a good method for sustained and long-term weight loss. In fact, fad diets are never the best option for reaching a healthy weight.

This diet could be a decent method if you want to quickly drop a few pounds to jump-start a traditional diet. Just make sure you carefully plan your meals. The ketosis state will help shed those initial pounds and get the ball rolling.

This diet might also be an excellent option for folks with certain medical conditions.

Doctors have prescribed low-carb diets to patients with epilepsy for years to help prevent seizures. Those with diabetes may also find success in this diet since these folks already limit their carbohydrate intake.

For the rest of us, this diet probably won’t work any miracles.