In this article we are here to explore Why South Korea is so good at esports. While esports appear to be sweeping the globe, its ascent in North America and Euope has been a sluggish process in comparison to the massive Korean esports ecosystem. Despite the fact that the rest of the globe is catching up, Korea continues to be the epicenter of esports, having played host to several of the biggest and wealthiest professional gaming tournaments ever. It was the first nation in history to acknowledge professional gamers as athletes and to view the sport as a shared national hobby. What is it about esports, therefore, that is captivating Korea so much?
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History of Esports in Soth Korea
Even though esports have been around since the 1960s, Korea was the country that brought the sport to a wider audience. Online gaming and LAN cafes saw a surge in popularity once the government decided to construct a nationwide broadband network in the late 1990s.
As the region is frequently regarded as a trailblazer for the sport, it is stated that this broadband growth has helped to the rise of esports not only in Korea but globally as well. Because it made it easier for gamers to train and interact with other players, their skill level rose at an astounding rate.
Even further, Korea established the Korean esports Association in 2000 as a branch of the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism. It is in charge of 25 of the top esports titles in the nation, such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, League of Legends, and Starcraft II.
The group has received recognition for its efforts to legitimise the sport, which include requiring new team members to sign a one-year contract and instituting a minimum salary for professional players. It was involved in a match-fixing controversy in 2009, although those players were immediately expelled.
Although there was a bit of a lull in esports early in the decade, titles like Overwatch and Hearthstone are rekindling interest. Even though first-person shooters have never really taken off in Asia, Overwatch in particular is drawing a lot of attention. The game is significantly more alluring to casual gamers than, say, a Call of Duty or Halo because of its many gameplay styles and character pool, which appeal to a wide spectrum of players.
Why it is So Popular?
There are a number of potential reasons why esports is so popular in South Korea. The Asia financial crisis of the late ’90s had countries like South Korea clamouring to encourage its people to get creative and working. The building of the broadband network led to an accidental renaissance era for esports, because video games proved to be a fantastic way to distance one’s self from the financial realities plaguing the region. Having super fast broadband fed into this, and the people suddenly had an outlet of the highest possible quality, better than what was being offered anywhere else in the world.
However, some academics attribute it to other cultural interests, viewing video games like StarCraft as contemporary iterations of a classic mental game that requires rapid reflexes and quick thinking. They contend that this fits with Korean behavioural tendencies.
The truth most likely lies in the middle, resulting from a mix of personal cultural impulses and government investment. It is just the case that film is so deeply ingrained in American culture that no one questions why. Though there are undoubtedly important historical and cultural factors at play, it is simple to understand why film plays such a big role in shaping US culture.
List of Esports Games in Korea
- League of Legends
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
- Alliance of Valiant Arms
- FIFA Online 4
- Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
- Brawl Stars
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A number of reasons have contributed to the success of esports in South Korea, including the government’s investment in a national broadband network that made gaming and skill development easier, and the formation of the Korean Esports Association, which gave legitimacy to the sport. The success of esports in South Korea can also be ascribed to cultural and economic factors, as well as the variety of games like Overwatch and StarCraft that appeal to a broad audience. Because of this, South Korea continues to be the centre of the world’s esports scene, with professional gaming being regarded as a common national pastime and strongly embedded in the culture.