Online gaming refers to playing video games over the internet on various platforms like computers, consoles (like PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch), or mobile devices. Players can compete against each other or collaborate in real-time, regardless of their physical location.

eSports, short for electronic sports, is the competitive side of online gaming. It involves organized, multiplayer video game competitions, particularly between professional players, individually or as teams. Although competitive gaming has been around for decades, it became significantly more popular in the 2000s with the advent of widespread internet access and the growth of games with competitive multiplayer modes.

Here are some of the main features of online gaming and eSports competitions:

1. Genres: Popular eSports genres include real-time strategy (RTS), first-person shooter (FPS), multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), fighting, card games, battle royales, and sports games.

2. Events and Tournaments: eSports competitions can range from small local matches to large international events that fill entire arenas. Some of the biggest eSports events include the League of Legends World Championship, The International (a Dota 2 tournament), the Fortnite World Cup, and the Intel Extreme Masters.

3. Streaming and Spectating: Platforms like Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming have made it easier than ever to watch eSports competitions and streamers who play games. These platforms have contributed significantly to the growth of eSports, allowing fans to follow their favorite players and teams.

4. Professional Gamers: eSports athletes can earn income through winnings from competitions, sponsorships, endorsements, and streaming. Professional players often have rigorous training schedules and belong to teams or organizations that manage their careers.

5. Audience and Reach: The eSports audience has grown exponentially, with millions of viewers watching the biggest tournaments. This widespread appeal has attracted significant investments from advertisers and media companies.

6. Regulation and Governance: As eSports have grown, so has the need for more structured governance. Organizations like the Electronic Sports League (ESL) and various game-specific leagues and associations handle tournament rules, player welfare, and anti-doping measures.

7. Education and Scholarships: Some universities have recognized the value of eSports, offering scholarships to talented players and creating collegiate teams that compete in intercollegiate leagues.

8. Technological Advancements: Developments in technology, such as better graphics, faster internet connections, and innovations like virtual reality (VR), continue to shape the future of online gaming and eSports.

In summary, online gaming and eSports have developed into a massive entertainment industry with professional players, dedicated fans, and significant economic impact. The scene continues to grow in popularity and influence, with the potential to become even more mainstream in the years ahead.