Just this past summer, there was an event that many people would not know about. KeyArena, in Seattle, Washington hosted the International Dota 2 Championships. The arena has a capacity of over seventeen thousand people and was the home of the former NBA team, Seattle Supersonics. For those who aren’t familiar with Dota 2, it is a MOBA (Multiplayer online battle arena) game that is played on the PC. Ten people are placed into teams of five to destroy the other team’s ancient, the main structure of each team. This Dota event was the largest in eSports history with a prize pool of over eighteen million dollars, well over the previous record of eleven million. The winning team of five people took over six million dollars and are some of the richest eSports athletes. To put this amount of money into reference, the US Golf Masters has a prize pool of ten million to spread out over the whole year.
The growth of competitive gaming is both beneficial and harmful to the players. Ten years ago, to think of making a living and supporting a family with playing video games was one of the most absurd ideas you could probably have for making a living. Now, there is more support behind aspiring professional players with even scholarships offered for high schoolers from colleges. Even some colleges having eSports classes offered as a minor class. However, just like regular athletes, eSports athletes have a limited time before they have to retire. Fear, a player for the team Evil Geniuses, has already had to take many breaks from Dota 2 because of using his arm too much and almost had to have surgery despite being only 26.