New trend in spectator sports: video games

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and so it will be with eSports

Lesson #
March 26, 2018

eSports"”competitive video-gaming"”are gaining in popularity in the United States among males under age 25. As a result, new venues are being built to accommodate live video-game competitions. One venue took over NBC Studios in California; another is being built in Texas. eSports are starting to catch on in the United States; we'll also review how to use the phrasal verb "catch on."


Also in Today's Lesson


Transcript

Simple TranscriptEspañol中文FrançaisPortuguês日本語ItalianoDeutschTürkçePolski

eSports are getting their biggest home yet in the United States

Welcome to Plain English for March 26th, 2018. I’m Jeff and you are listening to the podcast that goes at the right speed for English learners. Today on Plain English, we’ll talk about eSports, or competitive video-gaming, and the two new places you can watch video games in person. The sport is really catching on in the United States—and at the end of the program, we’ll talk about how to use the phrasal verb “catch on.”

Remember that the transcript of every program is available on the web site. Today’s program is episode number 32, so you can find the transcript online at PlainEnglish.com/32. You can also see instant translations of difficult words into Portuguese, Spanish, French and Chinese right from the transcript. So, if you come across a word you don’t know, chances are it’s highlighted and just by hovering over the word, you’ll see the translation into your language. And it’s all for free on the web site, PlainEnglish.com/32.

Let’s get going with today’s main topic.


Largest eSports arena coming to Texas

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and so it will be with one of the hottest trends in entertainment these days: eSports.

For the uninitiated, eSports is competitive video-gaming. In a typical eSports competition, professional players compete in multi-player video games, while an audience watches the action on large screens in an arena or online. You might be wondering why anyone would want to watch other people play video games; I wonder the same thing myself. But it’s a real thing—a real big thing. Over 360 million people watched a single League of Legends tournament in 2017. That’s more than three times the number of people who watched the Super Bowl in American football. And that’s just one league!

In fact, one global survey found that eSports was the least popular form of entertainment among the options listed, but that it was most popular among American males between the ages of 18 and 25. In that group, 22 percent said they had watched competitive video-gaming, more than had watched traditional sports. You won’t be surprised that interest in this sport skews male; one estimate says 85 percent of eSports viewers are male.

And it’s not just Americans who are interested; in fact, South Korea has been the leader in this form of entertainment. Video games are a social activity in Korea and professional competition has long been broadcast on television and has featured major prizes. Many of the world’s best players, coaches and game developers come from South Korea. It’s so popular that the government is concerned about video game addiction and has instituted public-awareness campaigns and clinics to help people who are addicted to their screens.

Still, South Korea was the leader in developing competitive video gaming as an industry, sponsoring the first eSports stadium in 2005. China also has a well-developed eSports industry. And now it’s catching on in the United States. Last month, the old NBC Studios in Burbank, California—the TV studio complex that once hosted The Tonight Show—that studio is now a competitive video gaming venue, where the action is displayed on huge screens, while the audience sits in the dark and watches the action and monitors a plethora of information about what’s going on. It’s more than just looking over the shoulder of an individual player—the viewers get camera angles that show them the best views of the action, even if it’s different from what the players themselves see.

Now it’s coming to Texas. The city of Arlington, Texas, which is just outside of Dallas, announced it will convert its convention center into a 1,000-seat competitive video gaming arena, the largest in the United States. According to the city’s visitors’ bureau, it will be the most technologically advanced eSports venue in the world. The venue will also include a broadcast studio, VIP hospitality suites, and social spaces for spectators to hang out. The city is betting that the eSports industry will continue to develop and grow in the United States—probably a safe bet considering how popular it was among Americans under 25 years old.

It seems likely that eSports will grow into big business, but it’s not clear what form it will take. Some people think it will resemble traditional sports leagues, with individual teams representing different cities competing against each other in a circuit. That’s what Blizzard, the video game company that set up an arena in the old NBC Studios thinks. They already have teams representing different cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, kind of like how soccer and basketball are organized around the world. Others think the sport will develop more independently and more fluidly, with individual teams forming and competing in one-time tournaments or series of tournaments. This model would look more like boxing or golf.

I have never watched competitive video gaming, and I didn’t really play video games as a kid, so I don’t quite see the appeal. But there are thousands of you in the Plain English audience and I’m sure some of you are into eSports. So, if you are, I want you to tell me why you like eSports, how you watch them, and if you’ve ever been to a live tournament. Email me your answer to jeff [at] plainenglish.com or find me on Facebook or Twitter and PlainEnglishPod.


I want to send a special thank you to two listeners from Germany. First, Martina, who said that she has spent all her holidays since 2014 visiting English speaking places around the world and is planning a new trip to Australia at the end of April; that’s so exciting to be able to travel and use your new language that way. That’s exactly what I’ve done with Spanish. My other new correspondent from Germany is Timo, who is also going to Australia and wrote in to say he listens to Plain English on his commute. So, thank you to Timo and Martina for listening—maybe you’ll run into each other in Australia, who knows?

¿Hablas español?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into Spanish. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

你说中国话?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

Parlez-vous français?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

Você fala português?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

日本語は話せますか?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

Parli italiano?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

Sen Türkçe konuşmayı biliyor musun?

The transcripts of Plain English lessons are available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation. Turkish translations are available starting at Lesson 278.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

Mówisz po polsku?

The transcript of Plain English lessons are available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation. Polish translations are available starting at Lesson 278.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

Audio

Slow AudioFast Audio

The fast version of this lesson is available for subscribers of Plain English Plus+.

Sign Up Today!