The Unstoppable Growth of the eSports IndustryPredator
Competitive video gaming, now known as eSports, has been around since the early 1970s. It refers to all types of competitive gaming: first-person shooters, battle royales, real-time strategy, fighting, and so on. But back then — and even until the early 2000s around most of the world — it did not have the following that it does today. Not by a long shot.
There are many factors that have helped the eSports industry to become what it is today. Below we’ll take a closer look as to a few reasons why the eSports industry has seen such rapid growth.
eSports Is Backed by Big Investors
Everyone is starting to realize the incredible force of eSports, and more and more people want to get a slice of the action. This, of course, is helping the industry to grow further because it’s getting more people involved and interested. eSports is seeing so much success, in fact, that even athletes, real-life sports teams, major leagues, and musicians are investing in the industry.
Michael Jordan, Drake, and Stephen Curry are just a few of the big names that are getting involved. And majors leagues like the NBA, NHL, and NFL are heavily investing in the industry and even starting their own eSports leagues and championships. Some other big investors in the industry have included PayPal, Facebook, Disney, and Mastercard.
The Rise of Competitive Online Gaming
One of the other main reasons the gaming industry has seen so much growth over the last few decades is due to the internet and the rise of online gaming. Gamers can find a seemingly endless number and variety of games online in both free and paid versions. From casino and poker games on sites like PokerStars to eSports and virtual reality gaming on sites like Steam, gamers have no shortage of options to choose from.
So, naturally, competitive gaming found a home online. Previously, gamers would gather in person to play eSports matches in front of a TV. But with the introduction of the internet and home PCs, suddenly gamers from all over the world could connect with other gamers and play in global tournaments. They could also chat with other gamers, meet gaming superstars, exchange strategy tips, and cheer on their favorite gamers in eSports tournaments (just like in real-life sports). Just having a space where competitive gamers could instantly connect with others like them had a huge impact on the industry, helping it to become what it is today.
Not only are more people playing eSports now, but they’re also engaging with eSports in new ways, far beyond playing games or tournaments. As mentioned, the internet has helped competitive gamers from all over the world to geek out over what they love. Social media has amped this up even further by allowing gamers to connect in a more seamless, user-friendly way on widely-used platforms. Facebook and YouTube both have huge gamer audiences, with the latter hosting dozens upon dozens of professional gamers with tens of millions of followers each. On those platforms, professionals and amateurs alike can share videos, tips, tricks, strategies, news, and so much more.
Additionally, just like sports betting, the eSports industry is also getting involved in betting. Instead of placing bets on real-life games, gamers are now placing bets on their digital counterparts or else on massive fighting tournaments for games like League of Legends or Fortnite. So they’re not only watching the games, reading highlights, talking to other gamers, and following social media, but they’re also placing bets on the outcome of matches.
Beyond this, more eSports tournaments with million-dollar cash pools are popping up around the world. This further increases engagement and excitement for fans and gamers alike. These tournaments are increasingly being held in massive stadiums, with some of them especially created for eSports. With action like this, it won’t be much longer before the eSports industry is a real competitor with the sports industry — It’s already nearly there.