Esports is the playing of computer games in a competitive environment, whether at the amateur or professional level. In recent years esports has become a global phenomenon and has gained immense momentum, outcompeting many traditional sports in terms of the number of practitioners, prize pools and even viewership – and is a potential future Olympic discipline.
Today the DC labs at the University of York announced a partnership with the Esports League (ESL), focusing on teaching and research on esports. The DC Labs are presenting a handful of cool research projects across analytics, AI, data-driven storytelling and more on their website.
Esports is a fantastic environment – more than 300 million people worldwide play competitive games, and tournament prices have reached more than a dozen million dollars for first place – with dozens of millions of viewers for world finals. On the company side, considerable resources are being allocated to support the esports environment from the main companies in the domain. The number of players active in the gaming community is also increasing, with individual games have dozens of millions of active players.
Esports – lying at convergence of TV production, video games and interactive media – also provide a rich environment for research across a broad range of areas, including broadcast technology, data-driven storytelling, game analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, human behavior, STEM education, and public engagement.