But the increased involvement of professional sports organizations such as the NBA, increased esports coverage on mainstream media, and increased regulation of leagues shows that esports is entering a new era of professionalism and mainstream recognition.
After all, esports has been accepted as a sport for the 2022 Asian Games, and the Hong Kong government recognized its economic development potential in its 2017 budget announcement.
One of the ways that the industry is pushing economic development is by creating a number of employment opportunities.
According to research from CareerBuilder, jobs in ‘traditional’ sports have a multiplier effect, with every job within sports teams and clubs themselves leading to four times as many job outside of the industry in areas such as construction, health care, sales, food preparation and maintenance in stadiums, and stores.
And it’s not just during competition time when players are at risk of stress, or overdoing it.
Most professional players are plugged in training (or streaming) for at least 8-14 hours per day, if not more, which puts them at risk of burnout.