As of 2023, Esports shows an estimate of around 540 million audience from around the world. The gaming industry has been changed forever with the arrival of esports. The esports market is recorded as being valued at a whopping $1.44 billion as of this year! Short for electronic sports, esports involve online competitions where gamers play video games in order to compete against each other, usually in multiplayer competitions. Unlike common 2 player sports and video game matches, these are organized competitive gaming sports which are professional in nature. Usually played as a team sport, there are individual matches held too among professional players.
1. THE HISTORY AND THE RISE OF ESPORTS
E-sports growth was first seen in areas of East Asia, specifically in South Korea and China, with certified professional players since 2000. After that, it spread to other parts of the world with the first Esports arena built in California, being the first exclusive esports facility in the United States. One of the main reasons as to why esports emerged greatly in the solo sports and team sports industry is due to its intense nature of competition among the players, which makes it exciting for the audience to watch! Professional gamers from around the world fight in tournaments, playing against the best of the best teams.
The most common categories of video games that are linked with esports are multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), battle royale, first-person shooter, fighting, card and real-time strategy games. Some famous esports franchises that are played globally include Counter Strike, StarCraft, League of Legends, Street Fighter, Super Smash Bros. and Over watch.
2. ACCESSIBILITY OF ESPORTS AND GAMING
In today’s world, with the advancement in technology has led to the rise of modern gaming and hence, esports. Whether games are played through PC, console or smart phones, it has surely paved way for the success of esports. The introduction of contemporary gaming consoles mentioned above has led to massive gamers from around the globe. Most importantly, smart phones being able to support different type of game applications has forever changed the gaming industry, with many famous application games played around the world which have gone viral such as PUBG, available as an app and console version. Multiplayer, competitive gaming on online gaming platforms allows users to play with people around the world, widening the audience of video games to a global market. With the increasing fame of esports, the gaming industry is flourishing which has led to the access of video games to more and more every day from kids to adults. Moreover, due to the popularity of different physical gaming and esports competitions, this has led to a lot of people showing an interest in gaming.
3. INCREASE OF INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENTS AND COMPETITIONS AROUND THE WORLD
Esports is a contemporary combination of entertainment and sports which is why it has become popular among several countries. This has attracted a lot of brands and companies to invest and fund in different teams and players, leading to the growth in the revenue and coverage of the sports industry. Marketing of esports has led to its awareness, with a lot of brands gaining an advantage of their own branding through esports gaming and players.
Among the world-renowned tournaments which has the best teams playing in the world and peak viewership and coverage include League of Legends World Championship, The International for Dota 2, Fortnite World Cup, Intel Extreme Masters, Call of Duty League Championship and many more. Dota 2 has the highest prize money making it one of the major e-sports game, with $47.79 million in prize money. Esports is now played alongside traditional sports in some multinational events held in Asia.
4. LIVE COVERAGE AND POPULARITY OF ESPORTS
The live coverage of the games and competitions on the internet has led to the emerging success of esports. With ease of access to the esports gaming competitions, mostly through websites such as Twitch and YouTube also allowing fans to watch the live tournaments and match highlights. Moreover, the professional players and teams do their own personal livestreaming which viewers can also watch on different websites. In 2022, the Twitch recorded over 1.34 trillion minutes of videos on the platform.
5. Esports industry trends
These trends show a massive gain of audience who watch the competitions, aiding to an increase in the overall revenue of esports. These include occasional viewers as well as die-hard fans. With the rise of online viewership of esports competitions, physical competitions are also held for audience to watch with an increase in participation in these events seen in a lot of countries. Esports is now played alongside traditional sports in some multinational events held in Asia. Apart from live coverage of the event, esports is a popular topic on several social media platforms as fans discuss the esports competitions and teams/players. This has also led to the awareness of esports, for those who still don’t know about it.
6. THE FUTURE OF ESPORTS
Esports has gained immense popularity in the last decade, becoming a multi-billion-dollar industry. The Covid-19 and post-covid period has seen an increase in the popularity of the sport, with a bright future ahead. Even though esports has been gaining attention since 2010, there are still people who are still learning about this sport, which is why it is still on the rise. In most parts of the world, kids are restricted to the use of video games as it is seen as a distraction to their studies. However, Esports player earn well which is why it is also now seen as an ideal profession for those who are pro video gamers. Mostly in Asian countries such as China, a lot of young adults are opting for esports as a career. While men dominate the world of esports, the rise of female players in esports is also expected in the future. It is predicted that the number of esports market is set to reach to $5.48 billion by the year 2029, while by the year 2025, it is estimated that around 640 million audience from around the world will watch esports.