In the rising world of eSports, countries like Japan, China and South Korea reign supreme while the United States lags behind. With the Dota 2 Championships currently underway, China is flexing its dominance again. Chinese team LGD is doing incredibly well while Western teams flounder. “Dota” is consistently one of the highest-streamed games on Twitch, sitting at an average of 147,873 viewers, per SullyGnome, the highest average of any game.
North America in general seems to trail in many of the bigger games. While they do well in games such as “Call of Duty,” they fall behind in the biggest games in the world. “Dota” and “League of Legends” are consistently among the most streamed games, along with “Counter Strike,” and “Overwatch” is an up and comer. As games get more popular, Eastern teams begin to pick them up more and more, and they simply seem to overtake their Western counterparts.
It’s easy to mock eSports, but it’s also silly and fiscally irresponsible. It’s a growing industry, and it’s incredibly accessible. Most major leagues stream on Twitch, which is a platform that’s free for non-subscribers, with its biggest inconvenience being intermittent commercials. The ease with which eSports can be watched has made it a serious ground for entrepreneurs to tap into. Former athletes such as Rick Fox, Shaquille O’Neal and Alex Rodriguez at least partially own teams, along with celebrities like Steve Aoki and Ashton Kutcher.
There’s a lot of untapped potential within the industry, and the Dota Championships this weekend are just the latest example of the United States falling behind. They do well in games such as “Call of Duty” and “Injustice,” but these games are largely westernized. As such, they don’t have the key Asian viewership that other games do on Twitch. As the industry continues to get bigger, we might see more United States teams crop up. Until then, Americans will just continue to get called scrubs.