The Booming E-sports
E-sports is one of the sports that is currently in vogue. It is a sport of computer games between people’s reaction and intelligence. The 2015 World Championship of League of Legends was held from October 1st to 31st and 16 teams from all around the world joined this competition with more than ten thousand audiences watching. Eventually, SK Telecom T1 from Korea defeated KOO Tigers and won the champion and the grand prize of US$1 million.
The year of 2015 marked the fifth year of World Championship of League of Legends. The award was US$100,000 in the first year and has increased annually since then. In 2013, the award reached up to US$2,050,000, which was the highest ever. The number of audiences has increased significantly as well. In 2011, 1.6 million audiences watched the competition online, following an 8.2 million viewers in 2012. According to statistics, more than 32 million players watched the Season 3 finals via Internet and digital televisions, with more than 850,000 people watching simultaneously. It is evident that E-sports have spread all around the world and what’s more, they have also become popular throughout Taiwan.
The scale of E-sports has also expanded a lot. Taipei Arena held the first E-sports competition, which is one of the important events of E-sports. A company in Taiwan, Garena, won the right to held two E-sports competition events, which are GPL 2013 and Season 3 final. As the scale and popularity have largely increased, there are people broadcasting the game on Twitch, and we are able to see E-sports competitions everywhere in Taiwan.
Ling-chuan Huang（黃翎娟）, a junior from Department of Journalism in Shih Hsin University, said, “Many of my friends play this game. They would always watch certain E-sports live streaming. I am impressed by their enthusiastic to these online games. In response to this phenomenon, Huang kept an optimistic attitude, but suggests that people should not be addicted to the games.
World Champions: Taipei Assassins
Winning the second season of Embassy World Championship of the League of Legends in 2012（2012年英雄聯盟第2季世界錦標賽總決賽）, the team called Taipei Assassins, a.k.a TPA（台北暗殺星）have made a great contribution to the E-sports（電子競技運動）craze in Taiwan. Many people have then been paying attention to these professional E-sports players after witnessing their achievements in the world competitions, provoking their interest in the field of E-sports.
Despite being in the limelight and having high reputation and income, the professional E-sports players bear tremendous pressure. “It’s not as fun as you think it is,” said Jie Li（李杰）a.k.a Jay, the supporter position of TPA. “Playing video games has nothing to do with entertainment at all once it becomes your job. Winning is all that matters,” he said. To do this, it is a must that they have a great understanding of the game mode and the roles in the game as well. He himself suggests that by playing unfamiliar roles and watching how they are played in a game would improve one’s understanding about how to use these roles. Aside from competing with members of their own team, they also live together. “Communication and interaction between your teammates is crucial. I was an introverted person and not very good at socializing in the first place, but my life has changed ever since I got into this field. I met a lot of people and went to numerous big events. My life has never been the same,” said Bo-wei Chang（張博為）,a.k.a Bebe, the captain of TPA.
Not only do they have to learn through living together and team cooperation, but also face criticisms and the expectations from those who support them. Jay said that there was a competition once in which his performance did not meet the expectation . Jay mentioned, “I started doubting myself whether I was qualified enough to stay in the field, and My family and fans all supported me a lot.” Players have to adjust their mental status from time to time and keep themselves in the best state for competitions. “It's the ups and downs of your performance that make games interesting. Only when you lose will you learn how to pick yourself up.” Bebe once quit for one year as he was lacking in motivation to practice. This has been an important turning point for him in his life. During the period of time, he acted as a critic（賽評）and worked in various fields. If it weren't for the time he quit and tried out other jobs, he wouldn't have realized what he wanted to do the best nor would be able to taste the sweet fruit of accomplishment.
Although having great achievements in worldwide competitions throughout the years, our government has not yet considered E-sports an official sport. The common impression on Esports among the general public is still pretty negative. However, what we cannot deny is that E-sports has enriched many people's lives. “E-sports has made me more outgoing and learn how to interact and socialize with people,” said Bebe. “It is the greatest accomplishment for me, as I am able to take E-sports as a profession”, said Jay, and “What we have experienced is nothing that the ordinary could. E-sports has made my life extraordinary.”
Spirit of a Competitive and Thriving Industry.
In recent years, more and more people have been calling for redefining E-sports as a official sport in Taiwan. The prize that the domestic teams have earned and the huge population of players also made the profession known to the public. Even Taipei City mayor, Wen-je Ko（柯文哲）, promised E-sports will be included as an additional sport item in the Universiade（世界大學運動會）.
Hard training for more than ten hours a day and the fierce competition from teams worldwide are both important factors why E-sports should be treated as an official sport. E-sports anchor Jian-heng Chen（陳建衡）pointed out that by introducing the profession to more people and attracting more sponsors to support the E-sports industry, parents would also be more supportive if their children choose it as a career .
League of Legends Master Series（LMS職業聯賽）offers $NT 26,400 allowance for each player to be full-time professional gamers. Also, there are quite a few jobs related to E-sports. Besides being the professional players, broadcasting a match relies on a group of people’s assistance, such as the anchors and the commentators in front of the camera, as well as the producers of videos and the planners of matches behind the scenes. Even after retirement, they can also be engaged in coaching or be the analysts or leaders of a team.
For many youngsters, having a job that's related to E-sports is an enviable experience. Jian-heng Chen said, “If I were to choose again, I would still choose to devote myself to E-sports.” Chen explained that E-sports is something he really loves, even having to sacrifice a lot of time for it. In addition, Chen wanted to prove that even for someone who does not perform well academically, he is still able to achieve something great.