In the past years, we’ve observed the rise of eSports at an exponential rate. With the record-breaking viewership in hundreds of millions, prizes topping the figure of $20M, and the biggest arenas of the world holding championships, eSports have surely taken over the world by storm.
The influence of the gaming industry is unbeatable in so many ways, the entirety of this pixelated world draws the masses towards it. Even if you’re not a fan, there’s a high chance that you must’ve seen a dedicated fanbase showing off their custom eSports jersey during a game season, or you’re friends with one of them.
In this blog, we’ll talk about what the hype is really about, and why a large number of people are so invested in eSports. So, let’s get into it!
Electronic sports – aka eSports – is a video game sport that has tremendously grown bigger over the years and now incorporates organized tournaments with professional teams participating. It has everything that traditional sports offer. In the backdrop of the digital setting, there’s a cut-throat competition, unique challenges, and the adrenaline rush which are similarly found in any other sport. The only difference is that it takes place from the comfort of your gaming chair. This gaming world is comprised of huge championships and professional teams wearing eSports jersey and headsets, competing in worldwide tournaments of famous games like Dota 2, CounterStrke, Global Offensive, Fortnite, League Of Legends, Overwatch, and more. The most played game at the moment is Dota 2, which attracts thousands of players and has prize money with nine figures.
The rise of eSports also stems from the popularity of video games in youth. According to the research conducted, it was found out that around 90% of teenagers play video games. According to the LA Times, around 8 million people log in every day to participate in eSports. Therefore, it comes without a surprise that many young children are interested in becoming professional eSports gamers in the future. The giant industry is estimated to be worth around $1.8 billion by 2022 with an ever-growing audience in hundreds of millions. It’d be a no-brainer to say that eSports has become a trend and is here to stay.
Being one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, its potential is grabbing the attention of the general public, media, and investors alike. Speaking of which it’s been reported that Wall Street Bankers are showing immense interest in the industry’s potential to generate skyrocketing revenue. Seeing the huge potential over there, universities across the world have also started investing in this industry by launching eminent eSports programs. According to the National Association of Collegiate ESports, more than 170 colleges in the US have launched eSports programs and are offering around $16 million in scholarships. In addition to it, eSports tournaments at the college level attract over 1350 schools and 40,000 players.
The popularity and viewership of eSports are expected to grow tenfold in years to come. Last year, it had an estimated audience of about 453 million, while by the end of the ongoing year, the number of audiences is expected to grow and reach 557 million. With its undeniable impact in different realms, eSports is gaining the attention of global brands, and many labels are trying to communicate with the new audience through advertising. In addition, there’s a novel trend of many celebrities associating themselves with the eSports tournament, such as Travis Scott and Jenifer Lopez, and more eminent personalities and artists are expected to join in the future.
Like anybody can play games for fun, but transitioning from the amateur to the professional athlete is bluntly difficult. You need hours and hours of practice, a certain skill set, and emotional intelligence to make the final cut. In the present scenario, we have Cyber athletes that are star players and highly recognized in the gaming communities. There are dominating teams and star performers in the digital setting that put serious work into their craft.
There are so many reasons for the meteoric rise in popularity of eSports from the social and technical standpoint as well. It offers the inclusivity that no other sports offer – all the things like too old or too young for it are just out of the question. Do you have the passion and the skills? You can simply play it. If we talk from the technical standpoint, the ever-evolving visuals provide us a real-life gaming experience – it’s like another dimension of reality.
It is a fact that stadiums are being exclusively built for eSports tournaments, and the Asian Games have already announced that eSports will be officially included in the year 2022. Moreover, the Olympics is also planning to include eSports as the official games in the next years – which will open new doors of marvelous opportunities for all the gamers. The eSports horizon is booming and we’re expecting to see more amazing things in the years to come – let’s see what the future unfolds for us.
Angela George is a community manager by profession and a blogger by passion. Her love for creating video content makes her try new things.
She also loves to travel and likes to share her experiences with audiences through her blogs.