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Virtual Worlds: The Rise of e-Sports

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The editors at Online Game Design Degrees and Schools decided to research the topic of:

Virtual Worlds: The Rise of e-Sports

Stadiums filled with screaming Starcraft fans have been a Korean staple for years. The makers of the online massively multiplayer game League of Legends have worked with broadcast partners of the NFL, MLB, and NHL to present live competitive events. As e-sports head west they're gearing up for their biggest stage yet.

- League of Legends is the most played online game of 2012
- 1.3 billion hours logged
- 148,000 years of total game time.


- 7,692,520 = number of high school athletes for all sports combined
- 32,000,000 = active league of legends accounts


- 8.3 million= viewers of the season 2 championship in 2012
- 3.5 million= to date peak viewership for Mad Men season premiere


- $5 million = prize pool for 2012 League of Legends championship
- That's larger than most tennis grand slams.
- Azubu Frost fined $30,000 for cheating.
- At 10% of their income for the season, a comparable fine for MLB would be in the millions.
- Average salary and winnings on a top 8 team= $85,000 per player (+endorsements)
- Chances of going pro= .000003125.
- The average high school football player has a better chance of going pro.
- Pediatrician vs. Pro LoL player
- Workweek: 54 hrs - 60+
- Education: 7 years after college - As few as a few months of gaming mayhem
- Salary: $135k - $85k (+ endorsements)
- Fame: It depends who you ask.
- Pediatricians don't normally get endorsements.

Starcraft / "Barcraft"

- Starcraft has had a dedicated fan base watching streams and live events for a decade.
- 120,000 people gathered to watch the 2005 Starcraft championship.
- That's more than attend the Super Bowl.
- With nearly sixty live broadcast pro tournaments in 2012 potential winnings are astronomical.
- First place winnings range up to $60,000 per event.
- "Barcraft" refers to the practice of watching live Starcraft in bars.
- Drafts and free agents
- Massively multiplayer games with ratings and character development often give rise to the illicit trade of buying and selling accounts. The act of adding value through the self "virtual" cultivation gave rise to some interesting statistics when Everquest was at its height in the early 2000's.


- MMORPG's lend themselves to sociological study through the formation of working economies and the making of mass political moves.
- The trade of goods and accounts for actual money sets the GDP of Norrath (the world of Everquest) larger than Bulgaria.
- Norrath's GDP= 77 in the world
- Behind Russia and ahead of Bulgaria.
- Nominal hourly wage = $3.42/hr
- Exchange rate = .01072 USD
- Greater than the Lira or Yen
- Whoever told you to stop wasting your time online didn't know what they were talking about.
- One World of Warcraft account was sold for $9,900 in 2007.
- Economics of this scale occur with the rising age of gamers.
- Average video gamer age = 30
- 68% of gamers < 18
- This has propelled the profit from sales of video games to jump to $16.6 billion (2011)
- The illicit trade of accounts and in-game services is estimated to approach $500 million.
- The price of success
- As with any other more normal trade, there are always those who have trouble setting boundaries.
- Everquest = known as "NeverRest" and "everCrack" for its addictive properties during the early 2000's.
- Since the early 2000's "internet addiction centers" have offered gaming addiction rehab.