Did you know that football is one of the oldest sports known to man? Versions of the glorious game have been traced back through history over 3000 years and can be found in many cultures across the globe.

It does not come as much of a shock then to see football evolve from a game including kicking rocks to pigs’ bladders, to a leather ball and now a CGI ball on a computer-generated pitch. This is eSports, and every year it is growing more popular.

Football vs. eFootball

The games are obviously different, traditional football is played on a real grass pitch with thousands of screaming fans by men and women who are their peak of physical fitness. There are betting opportunities, brand deals, marketing opportunities, piles of merchandise, and of course, the players themselves become household names.

The rise of eSports, however, has seen some of that excitement filter over into the world of the computer-generated game. Top players are sought after, they have their own lines of merchandise, the games are watched by thousands across the globe, and of course, there are many betting companies allowing fans to place fifa esports bets as the games progress.

What are the players of eFootball like?

Professional gamers share many of the same qualities as professional sportsmen and women. Whereas the emphasis is not so much on physical readiness to play (although there is definitely a place for physical fitness in eSports), players must maintain sharp mental abilities and the necessary skills to improve their game.

More and more professional football clubs are scouting and recruiting for eSports players, snapping up professional gamers who make the grade. These players act as fantastic ambassadors to the clubs and help them reach audiences that they may not have traditionally reached before.

We’ve seen a considerable rise in the last few years of professional football clubs like Manchester City, West Ham United, VFL Wolfsburg, and others are recruiting professional gamers, sending them to huge fan events in full sponsored kits and paying a decent salary to keep them on board.

The FIFA videogame has been available since 1993 when it debuted as FIFA International Soccer or FIFA ’94. However, it is only in recent years with the advancement of graphics, internet speeds, console speeds, and of course, the rise in popularity in live streaming have meant this industry is booming!

The future of gaming

The last 26 years have seen considerable improvements in the world of personal and competitive gaming, both at home and in an online sense, and the global market for eSports specifically is growing, with over 400 million viewers in 2018 alone giving companies an estimated revenue of over $180 million.

Players take part in competitions, and fans can stream the games via all sorts of services, including Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube, the latter being the most popular streaming service for eSports. Even the betting industry is keeping up with developments with odds checkers including esports in their listings.