Special Thanks to Merkur for the editorial contribution about E-Sports and Virtual Reality Link
Here we go with the english translation of the text:
It goes down the stairs at the back of the building, which is not the most representative entrance. No ray of daylight can get down and inside. It is only dimly lit here, a few screens are on. People whisper. A word is spoken that one would not expect in this environment: “coalition agreement”.
A cellar of a commercial unit – supermarket, fitness studio, restaurant – in Vaterstetten near Munich. 700 square meters of space. This was once the past of sports: a bowling alley. Who still bowls today? Now here is the future of the sport. Possibly. “Don’t miss the start,” says Herbert Scheuerer. He is the president and investor here, he set it all up: the Munich E-Sport Club. 40 playgrounds, a Twitch cinema (we’ll see what that is) with 60 seats. “Unique in Europe in this form,” he says.
Coalition agreement, that is the term of the hour. The CDU/CSU and SPD recently agreed to work together and set this down in a paper.
This passage was found:
“We recognize the growing importance of the e-sports landscape in Germany. Since e-sports train important skills. That are not only important in the digital world and require training and sports structures. In future we will fully recognize e-sports as a separate sport. With club and association rights and support them in creating an Olympic perspective”.
What this means is: That e-sport, the competition on the computer, console or at some point with virtual reality glasses. Will be on a par with everything that is classical sport: soccer, athletics, swimming, shooting.
What is written in the coalition agreement overturns what the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) has determined. “E-sport is not a sport. But it lacks its own sport-determining motor activity and necessary organizational structure. On behalf of the German Football Association, its president Reinhard Grindel blasphemed: he called e-sports “absolute impoverishment”.
But the DOSB and DFB are not only contradicted by politics. The e-athletes, like to quote Ingo Froböse from the Sports University of Cologne. Who often talks about fitness topics on breakfast television. He says: “The heart rate is like running a marathon. The stress hormones go up like in a Formula 1 race. The eyes of a professional scans the screen at a crazy speed, plus various tactical and emotional elements”. A study by the Australian Deacon University asserts. “Playing video games improves motoric and cognitive skills and even helps against depression.”
Herbert Scheuerer is working in the IT industry since 1985. He is not a “gamer”, “I see it socio-politically: Does e-sports reach the middle of society?
From an entrepreneurial point of view, e-sports are highly interesting. For example the 15,000 tickets for the 2015 League of Legends final in Berlin’s Mercedes-Benz Arena. Were gone faster than those for the Adele concert. The fans watched on the video cube. How the teams, which are called clans, sat in the middle of the hall. At the keyboard and mouse and played against each other. The winner of “The International” in the Dota2 game earned 6.1 million euros in prize money. Only slightly less than the winner of the UEFA European League Online. The biggest e-sports event to date drew 14 million viewers to the live broadcast. Surpassing the eight million who watched the stratospheric jump by Red Bull extreme sportsman Felix Baumgartner.
Twitch is the name of the platform where you can watch e-sports (hence the Twitch cinema in Vaterstetten). In fact, 16 percent of Germans have already watched a video game live or in a recording. And even more of them do it themselves: 42 percent. Of course, younger people (81 percent of 14- to 29-year-olds) are preferred. Less so the older ones. But eleven percent of those over 65 have already done so. Therefore: growth industry.
Herbert Scheuerer thinks that sports clubs should join in and set up e-sports departments. Just as Schalke 04 and VfL Wolfsburg have already done. He recently invited the 40 largest clubs in and around Munich. Starting with FC Bayern and going down to the state soccer league and the major clubs, to a workshop. It was heavy snowfall, and for some of them the date did not suit them. In any case: Only five clubs came. The Bavarians did not. “As long as Uli Hoeneß doesn’t even have an e-mail address. . ” sighs Scheuerer.
He is aware that e-sports still have an image problem. Because some games are violent (killer games). And because people think that only nerds sit in their closets and neglect their social contacts. Scheuerer counters: The shooting clubs don’t hold anyone responsible if something happens. And as for the community: e-sportsmen and women do meet in real life. To offline tournaments in his club. The e-athletes don’t need to fit into the classic club structure. Because they have already created their own scene and are doing well. The sports clubs should be careful not to miss anything.
E-sport, that is also foreseeable, will change. Away from keyboard and mouse games – towards active movement in a virtual space created by special glasses. Cagatay Oezbay is strong in this field, he has a company for virtual reality applications in the Bavaria film city. He lets you immerse yourself in a ride on the new Zugspitzbahn. He filmed it with a 360-degree camera and drone.
E-Sports of the future, actually already possible now. The player stands in a room (4 x 4 surface). His movements are analyzed (“motion tracking”), he gets VR glasses on. He can dive into a tennis, handball, basketball or – with a racket but without skates – into an ice hockey match. “You will have the feeling of being present in the scene itself.”
E-sport – the most popular games:
Surprise; The soccer simulation FIFA does not belong to the highest category.
1st level with more than 8 million active users per month. 20 million viewed hours. More than 5 million euro prize money in Germany: League of Legends, HearthStone, Counter Strike, Dota2.
2nd level (over 1.5 million users. 2 million hours 1 million prize money): Halo, Smite, Call of Duty, Overwatch, World of Tanks, Starcraft, Heroes.
3rd level (more than 500 000 users. 200 000 hours, 100 000 e): Rocket League, Super Smash Bros, Vain Glory, Crossfire, FIFA, Point Blank.
Special thanks to Herbert Scheuerer for this opportunity and Günter Klein for the contribution.