South Korea is well known for its online gaming and is the fifth largest online game market in the world. With e-sports fever growing, it has got to the point where e-sports can be seen as part of 'Hallyu'.
From 'Overwatch' to 'Battlegrounds', what might seem like just fun games to play, has for younger generations become a culture and sport.
"The main group of people who enjoy e-sports are millennials. The biggest cultural part of their daily lives are games and consuming mobile contents. E-sports lets them share that common culture through games, therefore it's very popular among teens."
E-sports are gaining interest globally, and it has reached the point where e-sports can even be seen in high school varsity sports competitions in the United States. With Korean e-sports growing overseas, they are becoming part of a new 'Hallyu'.
"It's already been 20 years since Korea started e-sports and since South Korean e-sports players show they are the best, people see e-sports contents made in Korea as the best. People show great interest in Korean e-sports and even buy the broadcast rights to see the games.
Moreover, with the growth of the IT and broadcasting industry, the e-sports industry is also booming.
"In order for e-sports to take its position as a major industry, institutional management needs to be solidified and since e-sports is a convergence of IT, communications and entertainment, if professions related to these industries work together, the e-sports industry is sure to grow."
E-sports is one of the trendiest sports of the digital era. With the development of VR and AR and as IT develops even more synergies between these technologies and e-sports will help the industry get even stronger in the future.
Seo Bo-bin, Arirang News.