E-sports is Expanding to Mobile Games

Korea's e-sports (electronic sports) industry is spreading its boundaries to the sector of mobile on the active growth of mobile games.

E-Sports are known to be a form of competition facilitated by electronic systems, especially video games; human-computer interface mediates the player's input, and teams plus eSports system's output.

Usually, eSports exist as organized, multiplayer video game tournaments, especially among professional players. The standard video game genres associated with eSports are MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena), FPS (first-person shooter), fighting, and real-time strategy.

From its early days, which was in the late nineties, the Korean e-sports industry has dramatically been led by the online computer games like:

1. LoL (League of Legends), a multiplayer online battle arena game developed as well as published by the Riot Games for macOS and Microsoft Windows. The video game follows a freemium (free and premium) model. Microtransactions support the game and Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne modification, Defense of the Ancients, inspired the game.

2. Blizzard Entertainment developed as well as published StarCraft, a military science fiction RTS (real-time strategy) video game. It was released for Windows on Mar. 3, 1998. The video game later produced a franchise, and it was the first StarCraft series game. In the year 1999, a version for Classic Mac OS was released, and on June 13, 2000, a Nintendo 64 adaptation that was co-developed with Mass Media got released.

But Korean game firms like Netmarble Games and Com2uS have continued pushing to make their mobile video games as competitive electronic sports for around three years. They're beginning to achieve substantial results through international competitions.

Summoners War is a turn-based strategy (TBS) massively multiplayer online video game created by the Com2uS game developer. The creators announced as well as released the game in June 2014 at the E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) for Android and iOS devices.

In the past three years, Summoners War has been among the most successful mobile games in Korea on the global stage, posting one trillion won, only in sales for the first time. In the Summoners War game, players assume a summoner role, opening scrolls to get monsters to battle in turn-based battle.

In March, Com2uS launched the SWC (Summoners War World Arena Championship), and it has managed to host the regional finals in a total of nine cities worldwide, including Seoul since August, Tokyo, Paris, New York, and Los Angeles. Sixteen finalists will be competing for the SWC at the finals, scheduled for November 25th, in Los Angeles.

An official of the Com2uS said that the regional finals in the continent of North America in September and October had drawn millions of spectators. Primarily, the SWC competition in LA, which was live-streamed via Twitch, had over 30,000 concurrent viewers. They have long pushed to increase their worldwide user base in running an international electronic sports competition.

Also, Netmarble Games, a company specializing in mobile game publishing in South Korea is expediting its electronic sports business with the Penta Storm mobile game. Penta Storm launched on April 25. The Penta Storm is known to be the Korean version of the King of Glory, a multiplayer online battle arena which was published by the Tencent Games. In the Penta Storm, players of the game join teams to face the opposing teams to capture the base of each other.

In March, Han Ji-hoon, who is the mobile business head of the Netmarble Game, said that in the year 2017, they would first open the tournament as well as a league for amateurs before beginning season-based regular professional leagues with a promotion as well as a relegation system.

The company is planning on hosting the Penta Storm Asian Cup, which will be held in Seol (Seoul Special Metropolitan City) next month (November). In that rivalry, a total of 12 teams that won tickets to participate in the finals from Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, as well as Taiwan, will be competing for the first class. A total of six hundred million won was given for the cup match. That is the most significant total amount of prize money ever offered at any mobile electronic sports competition so far.

An industry source said that though lots of events of the mobile e-sport are still appealing jut to those people who are playing the game, the viewership is going to grow as more of the community gradually choose to play the mobile games as an available entertainment in their hand.

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