The rise of online streaming platforms such as Twitch has seen the launch of competitive gaming, otherwise known as eSports, to become a mainstream phenomenon. From professional teams of gamers competing against each other, to mass tournaments with people from all over the world, eSports have become a wildly popular form of entertainment. This article will explore the rise of eSports and its potential for long-term success.
I. Introduction to eSports
The phenomenon of eSports has rapidly gained popularity in recent years with millions of fans and players of all ages getting involved and taking part. It is a type of competitive gaming where individual players, or teams, compete against each other in various video games. Games within the eSports world include:
- Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games
- First-Person Shooter (FPS) games
- Sports games
- Fighting games
- Real-Time Strategy (RTS) games
eSports has grown in size and scope to become one of the biggest professional sports organizations in the world. Major tournaments have been held in venues all around the world from small local tournaments with prize money in the hundreds to professional tournaments with prize pools of up to $30 million dollars. Professional players can now make life changing amounts of money through their involvement in the scene.
As more people have become involved in the developing world of eSports, the industry has seen an immense growth. Popular streaming platforms such as Twitch and Youtube have allowed millions of people to watch their favourite professional players compete. Many online betting sites, such as Unikrn, now offer betting on eSports games and tournaments. This has led to an exciting and unique competitive environment that is constantly growing and evolving in an exciting way.
II. Popularity of eSports
Since its revival in the early 21st century, eSports has gained a global following with no signs of slowing down in the near future. Despite its controversial nature, the typically competitive online or offline video game genre has seen some remarkable number of viewerships.
Notable Viewership Milestones:
- 2016: Over 32 million people watched the World Championship for the game, League of Legends.
- 2017: Over 46 million made a record-breaking viewer count in the championship.
- 2018: The Intel Extreme Masters in Oakland reached a peak viewership of 263,000.
- 2019: Nearly 2 million people watched the World Championships from August to November.
This success of such a relatively new branch of competitive gaming has made eSports an enthusiast for some and a growing concern for others. A study by Newzoo in 2017 suggested that the global eSports audience was at 385 million. This unprecedented growth in viewership has made eSports an economically viable endeavour on the global stage.
It has enabled game publishers and tournament organizers to make larger investments in eSports. Consequently, teams and players have had larger means to receive data and course access to better training and coaching facilities. In 2019, American professional teams and organization earned almost $300 million in annual revenue.
III. Economic Aspect of eSports
The economic aspect of eSports is one of the factors driving its substantial growth. This fast-growing industry has already surpassed the billion-dollar mark, and has potential to become even more profitable over the next few years. There are a few key elements to consider when analyzing the economics of eSports:
- Advertising Revenue: eSports is an attractive platform for advertisers, as it is a good way to reach a highly-targeted, younger audience. Advertising platforms, such as Twitch, offer sponsorships and in-game advertisements. This generates revenue by selling advertisement space and providing access to the exclusive tournaments.
- Ticket Sales: eSports events take place across the world each year, and tickets sales are a main source of income for the industry. These tournaments are streamed online, resulting in viewers being able to watch it from anywhere in the world.
- Endorsements: Professional teams and players have the potential to make significant earnings through lucrative endorsement deals. Companies have begun sourcing these talented gamers and offering them significant amounts of money to promote them and their brand.
- Media Rights: Industry professionals are always looking for ways to monetise eSports events, and they have been able to do this through media rights. Streaming platforms, television networks, radio stations, digital rights holders, newspapers, and magazines can all pay for rights to broadcast live events.
In addition, brands are investing in professional teams in order to promote their product or service. This has led to the emergence of many unconventional tournaments, such as automobile or telecoms tournaments. Another important factor in the growth of eSports has been the introduction of sponsorship deals from well-known companies, such as Nike and Red Bull.
IV. Impact of eSports on Culture
The emergence of eSports as a mainstream form of gaming has sparked a massive cultural shift. Thanks to the proliferation of high speed internet, gaming has gone from a solitary pursuit to a highly competitive, global phenomenon. As a result, the eSports industry has exploded in recent years, and its impact on culture is significant.
- Wider Reach: eSports has gone global. Professional tournaments and leagues have been created for multiple genres and platforms with millions of viewers from around the world tuned in to every event. eSports is being broadcasted like any major sport, and this has led to a rapid expansion in the audience.
- New Opportunities: Before the rise of eSports, participating in video game competitions was a very niche activity. Now, anyone can participate in a variety of eSport tournaments, including the growing number of international events. With the right skills and training, gamers can now compete and make a living from professional gaming.
- Cultural Integration: eSports has also resulted in the integration of gaming into mainstream culture. Professional leagues and tournaments have become the focus of discussions both in person and online. There’s a growing interest from different demographics such as overall gamers, businesses, and mainstream media. eSports stars have also become international celebrities.
It is clear that eSports has had a significant impact on modern culture, and its influence shows no signs of slowing down. With more people engaging in gaming and new opportunities available, the popularity of eSports will continue to grow and shape culture in new and exciting ways.
In conclusion, the emergence of esports is undeniable. With its growing popularity across the world, the esports industry has the potential to become one of the world’s biggest entertainment businesses. The esports industry is constantly growing, and there are numerous opportunities for professional players. The combination of skill, strategy, and the passion for competing makes esports an attractive industry for pros and enthusiasts alike.
- Esports has earned global recognition – It has already been accepted by many global organizations such as the International Olympic Committee and was featured at the Asian Games in 2018.
- Esports offers a variety of opportunities – From developing the Twitch streaming platform to playing the actual game at a professional level, the opportunities are endless.
- Esports is becoming increasingly popular – It’s estimated that the global esports audience is more than 380 million people, and the viewership is expected to reach 600 million by 2022.
- Esports is redefining the way we watch sports – With its rise in popularity comes new opportunities for traditional sports fans to watch competitive video gaming.
This phenomenon is yet to be understood at full and it will definitely influence the future of the sports industry. The competitive level of esports will only increase in years to come, as will the popularity and opportunities related to it.
The potential of ESports has been explored to some extent in this article, showing its expected growth both in terms of popularity and financial success. For its stakeholders, ESports presents various opportunities as well as a unique set of challenges. As ESports continues to rise in popularity across the globe, it will be interesting to see how the industry will develop in the years ahead.
Karmen Grier is a versatile writer who effortlessly delves into diverse subjects, ranging from travel and lifestyle to health and wellness. With a warm and approachable tone, she invites readers to join her in exploring new experiences and finding balance in an ever-evolving world.