SAN ANTONIO — According to a Newzoo study, global eSports revenues in 2020 will surpass $1 billion for the first time. That does not even count the broadcasting platform revenues. 

In short, eSports are not going anywhere. Everything has grown rapidly throughout the past handful of years, yet there is still a generational gap on what the eSports world looks like.

In San Antonio, eSports are growing at a slower pace, but two programs have emerged at local colleges such as Texas A&M-San Antonio and St. Mary’s University. KENS 5 reached out to Travis Yang and Kaitlin Teniente, respective eSports head coaches, to know more about the industry.

“Just like in traditional sports you have different games like basketball, football, hockey and soccer,” TAMU-SA coach Yang explained. “In eSports, you have individual games like Counter-Strike, Overwatch and League of Legends.”

St. Mary’s coach Teniente added, “On the same line of thinking it’s entertainment. There is something for everyone here whether it’s playing the video games themselves, being a spectator, or being a supporter of a team in any game.”

Yang also said, “Parents will complain ‘why do you want to watch somebody play a game?’ But when your dad goes on the couch and watches football for four hours he’s doing the same thing, right?”

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Fighting misconceptions is an uphill battle for those not familiar with eSports.

“There’s a misconception you don’t get anything of value from playing video games,” Teniente said.

Yang added, “(We hear) gamers are just those kids in their room or in the basement just gaming for hours on end. Football you need to practice your throws. In basketball, you need to practice your shooting. The basic mechanics, just like in eSports, you have to practice your aim and…strategy.”

With eSports advancing into the billions, this has turned into a viable life opportunity for so many.

“You can play on a team, usually, and have a salary. Monthy salary or yearly contract, whatever,” Yang explained. “You can still stream on the side in your free time. I think initially, it was start-up investors just funneling a lot of money, but now it’s kind of built into a self sustaining system.”

“People are making careers out of this. They’re leaving other jobs because they can make a living,” Teniente said. 

Even though the future is now with eSports, there is still plenty of time to jump onto the bandwagon before things exponentially take off.

“I still think it is the Wild West and there is a lot of room to continue building,” Teniente said.

“The industry is growing worldwide. At this point, it’s not just a fad. So for those people who are kind of looking in, be confident and have faith that this is going to keep growing,” Yang added. 

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