Can Esports Become a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry by 2023?
Some argue that Esports players have many similar qualities of real athletes as it takes a certain amount of talent to excel in the game
In 2020, the Esports industry saw an exponential amount of growth both in terms of viewership and fandom. Following audiences grew by over 490 million as people worldwide began participating in or watching tournaments and competitions online. And enthusiasts aren’t just limited to diehard followers, but also casual fans and players. In fact, with the industry currently valued at nearly $1.1 billion and growing at a steady rate of 15% each year, by 2023 Esports will most likely be a multi-billion-dollar business. But just what about the Esports experience is drawing so many people in and how can we be sure that it is set for even further expansion? Let’s take a look at why so many companies are investing their hard-earned money in one of the biggest modern-day industries set for major success.
The growth of high-profile tournaments
Every professional sport has its own important competitions and events, and Esports is no different. However, nowadays tournaments in the industry have exploded, mirroring major leagues like the NFL and NBA in regards to fan engagement and viewership. Esports stars have follower bases that rival even the most popular athletes like Lebron James and Tom Brady. In fact, the League of Legends Esports tournament that took place in Seoul, South Korea in 2018 was watched by over 100 million people around the world. This number was just shy of NFL’s Super Bowl Championship of the same year with nearly 103.4 viewers.
But why are people everywhere so attracted to these high-profile tournaments? Well, Esports pits some of the best professional gamers against each other in a hugely competitive setting with massive prize pools. The real-money reward adds another dimension to these events and makes fans extremely attentive. That same League of Legends World Championship provided a whopping $2,41M to the winning team, Invictus Gaming, landing each group member $403,000 and eternal bragging rights. Also, gameplay in Esports is even more intense and action-packed than many other professional sports that exist today. With huge brands like T-Mobile, Coca-Cola, MasterCard, and more spending millions to sponsor them, these mega-events are becoming global phenomenon’s, surely set to further impact the industry’s market revenue for the better.
There is no other sport like it
Really think about it for a moment. What other professional sport is comparable to Esports? Every other major league such as basketball, baseball, football, golf, and more, each compete to win games or competitions in a real-life environment, but Esports is the only one whose victories happen digitally. As stated above, professional gamers compete for huge prize pools in live tournaments, but their gameplay takes place in a virtual world outside of reality. This is extremely attractive and unique because it sets the industry apart from all others. Also, Esports is special in that any player can compete from any corner of the world if they have a steady Internet connection.
Esports announcers add a fun edge to broadcasts, captivating live audiences and those who are watching from home
An increase in viewership on platforms like Twitch
As the world continues to turn its eyes to Esports, companies are getting more involved as well. The most important game streaming service, Twitch has seen a steady increase in its number of active users and has largely become the “ESPN of Esports” among the gaming community. Although other platforms like YouTube TV are also popular, Twitch undoubtedly has a stronghold on the market.
Between high-profile tournament sponsorships from Coca-Cola, Red bull, MasterCard, and many more, along with more and more celebrity and corporate investors hopping on the Esports train, the industry is surely one to watch. Revenue numbers will only continue to rise as users join in from home to enjoy an entertainment experience unlike any other.