Competition gaming, known today as eSports, has grown exponentially in the last several years. What used to be battles fought at local arcades or in living rooms, is now televised across the Internet via services such as Youtube and Twitch. Even cable channels have cast their hats into the eSports ring, including TBS and ESPN. With such popularity comes investments and advertising revenue. In a recent article by Business Insider, it was revealed that Goldman Sachs valued eSports at $500 million in 2016. What is interesting is that the investment firm sees eSports topping $1 billion on value sometime in the next three years. Just how big is eSports though?
eSports covers a large demographic of entertainment, from “arena” battle games like Dota 2 to first person shooters like Quake and Unreal Tournament. Actual sports games based on soccer (FIFA), basketball, and football (Madden) are also represented within the realm of the digital sports genre.
Companies putting advertising revenue and promotional efforts behind eSports include a who is who in sports such as the NFL, NHL, NBA and ESPN but go beyond and also include Red Bull and Coca-cola. Game companies seemingly produce games designed for competitive gaming on the national scale – from Riot Games to Activision Blizzard, there seemingly will be no shortage of games to enjoy as the latest eSports go-to titles.
Betting on sporting events has been around since the dawn of the games played. From handicaps to odds, dedicated eSports bookmaker Master Mazuma offers a wide range of informative eSports articles on many of the most popular eSports games played today. With the growth of eSports, soon it will be imperative to have a deeper understanding if you want to get full enjoyment out of the matches. That takes statistics, averages, player experience and other stats that may not be available at a glance during a broadcast.
According to Statista, eSports will reach an estimated 500+ viewers by 2020. That is up nearly 40 percent over the overall viewership in 2016. In 2018, eSports content is expected to top 8.6 billion hours of views. That is a lot of competitive gaming and quite an increase over the days of arcade tournaments in the 80’s which struggled to get more than 50 players involved.
Part of this excitement over eSports gaming is a return to those old days of taunting, discussion amongst fellow gamers exchanging tactics and general bragging rights. What has changed is now all this communication is often done over the internet via microphones (competitors often never meet prior to eSports events). Also, your squad mates could be across the world rather than across the room when playing Starcraft. From humble beginnings to a media juggernaut, eSports are here to stay. We can thank Halo, Call of Duty and a general love of competition for this growth.
In fact, we are still in the infancy of eSports. The champions of tomorrow will be crowned based on their skills, talents and adaptability to new titles. Thanks to the breadth of eSports, gamers of just about any genre of game can hone their skills and possibly find themselves in front of the cameras with millions watching at home.