Gaming vs. Esports: What's the difference?
With various innovations, institutions, and key actors joining an industry, it’s no secret that terms become broad and easily interchangeable. This leads to confusion and unnecessary debates within the community and curious outsiders. Among the circulating queries, all you need to understand about the major differences between gaming and esports are here at Bitcasino.
‘Esports vs gaming’ sounds like an easy comparison that doesn’t require much further explanation. In reality, however, their differences are one of the common topics on the internet. When typed in a search engine, about 295 million results are available in just a matter of 0.75 seconds.
By their basic definitions, gaming is simply the act of playing a game, whereas esports refer to the games played on a competitive and professional level. To put it simply, the former is an all-encompassing ecosystem that’s made up of various components, including esports. In the context of execution and purpose, on the other hand, both are driven by technology and created for entertainment.
Since esports are aligned with traditional sports, let’s use it as an analogy to further explain. Akin to how sports pertain to physical games like soccer, football, and basketball, gaming includes all types and genres of video games played.
Then, the sports’ top-flight leagues and global championships such as the National Basketball Association (NBA), English Premier League (EPL), and FIFA World Cup are equivalent to the grand esports tournaments like Dota 2’s The International, CS:GO Majors, and ESL Pro League, to name a few.
Gaming: Casual and entertaining
Gaming, or more notably online gaming, is a multi-billion dollar industry. Gone are the days when the entertainment sector was dominated by films, music, and traditional sports. According to Newzoo, the global market for online games towers over the traditional forms of entertainment. It was worth $152 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $196 billion in 2022. Meanwhile, the global box office and recorded music generated $43 billion and $19 billion in 2019, respectively.
From the resounding market worth, almost half of it is from the Asia-Pacific region. This is followed by the U.S., China, Europe/Middle East Africa, Latin America, and Canada. All we can say is that numbers, popularity, and growing trends show no signs of slowing down. It is an unstoppable sector ready to prevail and influence other industries.
However, the success wouldn’t be possible without the following eight elements that drive gaming:
1. Distributors or retailers: Businesses that distribute and sell games (e.g. Steam and Google Play)
2. Game developers: Gaming studios that create games (e.g. Blizzard, Valve, and Riot Games)
3. Game publishers: Businesses that finance and distribute games (e.g. Ubisoft and Activision)
4. Software developers: Computer programmes that develop applications allowing gamers to do tasks (e.g. Discord and PunkBuster)
5. Streaming services: Service companies that help gamers live stream their games (e.g. Twitch and YouTube)
6. Hardware developers: Companies responsible for building electronic devices or platforms for the video games to be played (e.g. Sony, Intel, and Nvidia)
7. Gaming arenas: Land-based sites that host gaming events, regardless if they are established leagues or tournaments (e.g. LAN cafes and stadiums)
8. Esports: Organised multiplayer video games tournaments where pro gamers and teams vie for a prize pool and awards (e.g. The International, Majors, and Legends World Championship)
Esports: Competitive professional sport
Esports is a combination of the more technical term ‘electronic sports’. These are competitive professional tournaments with a history dating back to the 1970s. However, it wasn’t until in the early 2000s in South Korea that the world witnessed its hypercompetitive environment.
That was due to its promotion and regulation by South Korea’s national government. The country created the Korea e-Sports Association (KeSPA) in 2000 to manage competitions like StarCraft and Warcraft III. From then, the rest was history as its influence blazed across gaming powerhouses in China, the U.S, and Europe.
While it is true that esports is among the elements of gaming, it solidifies the latter’s difficulty and sophistication. It’s a massive entertainment platform but on a different level — a passionate profession for gamers and a lucrative industry for game developers and franchisers. Now, its market is worth $1 billion — an impressive feat albeit the controversies from oppositions.
If gaming encompasses the aforementioned eight elements, then esports has opened a space for the betting sector, crypto and blockchain technology. Esports betting is a new activity that sits between two profitable and digital native industries: online gaming and iGaming (online gambling). However, how it works doesn’t shy away from traditional sports betting. There are gamers and teams to bet on, different markets to choose, and esports odds to analyse.
Gaming and esports: A new era of entertainment
Gaming and esports are the new era of entertainment. Esports would be impossible to take place without game developers and distributors. All the same, gaming wouldn’t reach the level of sophistication and prestige it does today without talented gamers competing in esports tournaments.
The next time someone asks you ‘what is the difference between gaming and esports?’, you’ll be confident enough to clear out their differences and correct any misconceptions. With Bitcasino as your source of information around esports crypto betting, you will discover all there is to know about this industry.
Words by: Antoinette Laraze