Demystifying Esports: A Personal Guide to the History and Future of Competitive Gaming

Baro Hyun

While multimillion-dollar prizes are common in esports today, did you know that esports began humbly in a small Asian country without a significant gaming industry at the time? And would you believe that after two decades of embracing esports, Koreans enjoy playing competitive gaming not only privately, but also at official corporate social events?

If not, it’s understandable. Anyone under forty-five grew up with video games as a natural part of their lives, but older generations have had minimal exposure to gaming. Without firsthand experience, it can be difficult to understand why the industry is booming and why your children and grandchildren love esports so much.

Demystifying Esports bridges the generation gap by exploring the history of competitive gaming, the growth of the industry, and its explosion as a global phenomenon. Dr. Baro Hyun relies on his extensive knowledge of esports’ history in South Korea to shed light on the growth and risks of this booming field.

Press & Praise

Roy Tomizawa, sports journalist and author of 1964: The Greatest Year in the History of Japan

"Who's going to teach the forty-something parent that their teenager's obsession with gaming is akin to their own childhood obsession with baseball? Dr. Baro Hyun is. Interweaving personal stories of his childhood during the emergence of the esports industry in Korea with explanations of critical components of the industry, Baro's Demystifying Esports is the perfect introduction. Try to find a better book and you might as well give up and say, "GG."

Wim Stocks, CEO, World Gaming & Collegiate Star League

"This is a must-read for any fan of gaming and esports, and for those involved in the business. Baro's book provides amazing insights on the history of esports to this point, and the dynamism that will propel the industry from here."

Steve Walkowiak, Shareholder, Video Game and Esports Practice Group, Greenberg Traurig, LLP

"A truly fascinating journey through the world of competitive video games, esports, and the cultural influence these forces continue to exert on the world. A must-read for anyone who loves video games, or loves someone who does."

Dr. Baro Hyun is the founder of an unprecedented esports advisory practice at a Tokyo-based Big Four consulting firm. Dr. Hyun’s experience growing up in South Korea, the birthplace of esports business, has been central to his success with the advisory business, which has a pool of major clients, including the Japanese government. Dr. Hyun has been teaching esports business at Keio University since 2018, and he has frequently appeared in major media outlets like The Nikkei, the world’s largest financial newspaper. He was the editorial supervisor for the acclaimed book A Primer on Esports Business (まる わかり!eスポーツ・ビジネス) by Nikkei Mook, available in Amazon Japan.


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