eSports is becoming one of highest growing markets in the sports world. ESPN has its own section on their website dedicated to eSports. Who could’ve imagined 20 years ago that playing video games could become as successful as being a professional athlete. Superstars in eSports make millions comparable to athletes in basketball, football, and baseball. There are Madison Square sized stadiums jam packed during a playoff game. Al of this has us wondering: is eSports the future of ALL sports?

Okay back up-so what is eSports? In layman’s terms, eSports consists of professional video game players competing in teams or individually against each other in a league. The winners of these leagues win prizes, most of the time the prize being money. eSports athletes not only make money like other professional athletes, they also receive sponsorships like them too. The arenas are capable of filling thousands upon thousands of people, one would think they’re at a football game by the size of the crowds in the arena. Tickets to these events cost upward of $99.

So is this the future?, Well, the U.S. government already recognizes the gamers as professional athletes. In 2013, the U.S. allowed the gamers to receive visas and same traveling privileges as other athletes so they can compete internationally. In the 2016 closing ceremonies for the Olympics, they showed a brief teaser video of Mario and the legendary Pac-Man for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It’s interesting because although it’s a long shot, the Olympic committee has looked into considering eSports as an event for the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.

The future of sports is changing in front of our very eyes. eSports is drastically growing and the advancement of technology is only going to catapult it even quicker to the mainstream. Major corporations and groups are identifying them as professional athletes. It’s only a matter of time before we starting cheering on for our favorite eSport player.

Images courtesy of: DoteSport , Business Insider, MyGaming