The Rise of E-Sports and Why You Should Check It Out
The rise of eSports has been absolutely insane over the last couple of years, meteoric in fact, and this is a sport which shows no signs of slowing down. If your parents ever told you to stop playing video games when you were a kid because ‘it will never make you any money’, then this is a sport which blows that argument out of the water. For the uninitiated amongst you eSports is a blanket term for video game competitions which happen all over the world, and pit the very best gamers against each other for big prize money, here is how it gained such popularity and why you ought to get involved.
The Stratospheric Rise
When we talk about the rise of eSports we are generally referring to the last decade which has taken the industry from competitors playing games across a LAN network, to filling out stadiums with people coming to watch them compete. In the last 7 years alone the valuation of this sector has grown to somewhere in the region of $3bn, and looks set to hit the $5bn mark by the end of 2020, such is the level of attraction and the growth which it will count on thanks to sponsors and marketing.
You only need to look at the kind of companies who are throwing money at this industry to recognize just who widespread the appeal is. Pepsi, Coca Cola, ESPN, Adidas and Visa have all invested in leagues such as the Overwatch League, Intel Extreme Masters and League of Legends Master Series. If these guys reckon that this is a sport worth investing in, you can bet your bottom dollar that it will continue to grow.
The fierce competition of these events is something which both those in the audience and those watching online absolutely love. There are some stand out players in the game of course, people like Saahil ‘Universe’ Arora who has racked up career winnings of $2.6 million, but in the main these competitions are so tough that consistently winning is far from easy.
Not only do these events take place in packed out stadiums, there are millions more who watch around the world. To give you a better idea, The last League of Legends event amassed a viewership of 70 million people! Research from a number of sports business bodies suggest that eSports could make up 10% of all sports viewing by 2020.
If you feel like trying out an eSports event then the great news is that you can watch for free. Currently this isn’t a subscription-only sport and it is often beamed across some terrestrial TV channels and on cable, or you can watch on websites like Twitch and YouTube for free, as well as social media channels. You can pretty much guarantee that in the next couple of years the money men will look to make this a premium sport, but for now it isn’t which gives you the perfect opportunity to give it a go and see if you enjoy it.