It wasn’t very long ago when people thought the idea of esports being an actual sport was absurd. Now that there is so much revenue coming in from esports, people are taking it far more seriously.
Major brands are sponsoring teams and running tournaments. Viewership is breaking records as people become fans of a game and have a favorite team. There has been a huge boom in esports and it is time to take notice.
Technology has finally arrived to take esports and online gaming to the next level so let’s dive in and take a look at what to expect from esports going forward.
What Is Causing The Growth?
One of the biggest reasons that esports are growing is the simple fact that many more people are playing video games. Since processors have gotten much faster in the last few years and fiber internet has gotten more widespread, there are more people playing.
In fact, because of the storylines for most games, people are picking them as entertainment over movies. And since action movies have become so formulaic, people would rather watch or play League of Legends over some cheesy blockbuster. LoL Accounts are easy to sign up for and then people can earn how to play instead of paying money to go to the movies.
With more people playing, it means that they are seeking out more information on how to play and end up finding streamers on Twitch and Youtube and end up becoming fans of a particular player of their favorite game.
Not all of the people watching are hardcore enthusiasts, either. There has been a dramatic increase in casual viewers who are choosing esports as their entertainment over traditional sports.
What was once just something that floated under the radar and was only followed by gaming enthusiasts is now becoming more mainstream.
Awareness about esports has risen dramatically over the last few years to over 1 billion people who say they are aware that there are esports leagues and championships.
With more awareness come more tournaments and bigger leagues. This creates a snowball effect as there is more money to advertise for these leagues and bring in even more viewers.
Different Than Major Traditional Sports
With the cost of going to a baseball or football game out of reach of most families, it has caused a drop in viewership and fans. Add the cost of the merch to support your local team and it can end up putting the cost of being a fan in the thousands of dollars.
It is much cheaper to be a fan of an esports team than to support your local professional sports team.
The fact that their favorite players will be paid such exorbitant sums of money is also a major turn off for many people. They see those salaries and the cost of going to the game and realize they are the ones paying that salary and would rather not.
Though there are some esports players that make a lot of money, it is nowhere near the amount that a pro baseball player makes on average. And people can see themselves being one of those esport players as they can play the same game and get good enough to compete potentially. Not everybody can go out and become a professional baseball player just because they decide to.
Brands Are On Board
When esports tournaments were being played for small audiences, most of the sponsors were video game companies and some tech brands. The audience was not very diverse and was fairly small so it wouldn’t have made sense for major brands to get involved.
Now that viewership has become more mainstream, we are seeing more major brands sponsor teams and leagues and advertise at the tournaments. This is contributing to the dramatic growth we are seeing as there is a huge influx of cash happening.
As more brands get on board, the more money the leagues make and the more they can grow. It has a lot of momentum now to become something that the average family will begin watching more often.
Esports In The Olympics?
Though it may seem far fetched that esports could find a home at the Olympics, there is some momentum happening. The International eSports Federation has been lobbying the International Olympic Committee to recognize it as a sport and has been getting a positive reception.
Esports will need to be accepted as an actual sport before we see any gold medals being awarded at the Olympics, but there is a general consensus that one day there will be enough people that consider it a sport to be featured in the Olympics.
If this happens then the mainstreaming of esports will be complete and will take on a greater role in the average family’s entertainment budget.
More Money Equals More Professionals
As the leagues grow, so does the prize money. And as the amount of money grows, the more players there will be getting into the esport arena.
The boom in more players going professional will also increase the quality of the games. If players can do this professionally and make a living at it then they can devote more time to the game. And this means that they will get much better than if they had to also work a full time job while trying to be a professional player.
Then, the increase in quality will bring in more viewers and thus more revenue. The fact that anybody can become a pro if they are good enough is a huge draw and brings in more viewers as well.
There are fewer and fewer people that scoff when they think of esports as a traditional sport or even of being something worthy of their attention. Nobody thinks twice about watching somebody playing a video game on Youtube these days and that carries over into watching tournaments and picking a favorite team.
It’s interesting to see the growth and the future certainly looks bright for esports.