The One that Started it All

HWM (Singapore) - - Trends -

STAR­CRAFT

Many con­sider the ‘Red An­ni­hi­la­tion’ tour­na­ment for Quake, held back in 1997, to be the first e-sports event. But it was a year later when the game which would re­ally sow the seeds for the growth of e-sports en­tered the mar­ket; the game was Star­Craft: Brood War, a real-time strategy game cre­ated by Bl­iz­zard.

With its ex­plo­sive pop­u­lar­ity, Brood War’s suc­cess led to the for­ma­tion of ded­i­cated game chan­nels in South Korea in the shape of Ongamenet and MBCGame. Each con­ducted their own tour­na­ments and broad­casted them, draw­ing ma­jor spon­sors such as Sam­sung into the world of e-sports. In 2000, the first World Cy­ber Games were held, and Star­Craft: Brood War was the main at­trac­tion. Aim­ing to be the Olympics for video games, the com­pe­ti­tion plat­form is still ac­tive to this day and has handed out over US$4 mil­lion in prize money across its ten­ure.

Star­Craft: Brood War ended its run as a com­pet­i­tive e-sports ti­tle in Oc­to­ber 2012, re­placed by its suc­ces­sor Star­Craft II. Over the decade it was played, Brood War served as an ex­am­ple of e-sport’s fi­nan­cial and cul­tural vi­a­bil­ity. It gar­nered fans, drew spon­sors, was tele­vised live on TV and made pro­fes­sional gamers into house­hold names.

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