In the early 2000s, I was captivated by a video game called ‘Counter-Strike’ which utilized an online multiplayer mode that allowed players around the world to engage in fierce firefights.
Despite its relative youth, eSports has gathered a loyal following of enthusiastic followers and rapidly expanding global audiences. Indeed, this phenomenon is only gaining momentum with each passing year as more people become acquainted with it!
According to an Oxford University study, there are now 380 million avid gamers across the globe who participate in some form of eSports. This figure is projected to soar to 5 billion by 2024 – representing a more than fourfold increase from 2015 levels when the total number was estimated at only 160 million!
The meteoric rise of eSports has been nothing short of astonishing. From humble beginnings in 2004 with just 482 participants at the first Major League Gaming (MLG) event – which consisted of just one day’s worth of competition – today’s industry is set for an astounding growth trajectory that will see it exceed 2 billion viewers worldwide by 2021.
1. eSports are bringing in a major audience.
If you’re contemplating launching an eSports venture, it’s undeniable that this is the way to go! Establishing a foothold in the industry can be an invaluable opportunity for businesses seeking to reach new audiences.
Take League of Legends as an example: It’s estimated that over 200 million people played the game in 2016 alone – with many of them new users who discovered eSports.
Accordingly, more than half of all eSports viewers were new to the genre last year. This indicates an average audience size of over five hundred thousand individuals per competition!
This staggering figure demonstrates the potential for bringing new audiences into the fold, creating unprecedented opportunities for media companies and brands alike!
2. It’s bringing in a big cash flow.
Last, but not least: the ability of eSports to garner a sizable return on investment (ROI). With less costly content production compared to film or television productions, you can expect to reap returns in return for your investments with relative ease.
Read more about the potential profitability of eSports here!
Quite simply put: it’s an unparalleled opportunity to attract fans, drive traffic, and build profitable businesses that revolve around e-sports.
With a plethora of options available for investors interested in making an entry into the eSports space, there are plenty of opportunities awaiting savvy players!
3. It has shifted from traditional sports to the internet.
The gaming industry is currently undergoing some profound changes, with new business models being introduced to generate additional revenue streams and fuel growth.
Due to the rapid expansion of eSports, it has become a viable opportunity for brands to leverage the popularity of video games and prominence of its lifestyle associated culture.
As more people continue to look at gaming as an entertainment option rather than solely a pastime, opportunities like these are becoming more prevalent in the mainstream consciousness.
It’s a relatively straightforward matter when you consider that many gamers these days spend time online playing against teams from around the world; and this trend has only accelerated over recent years. Therefore, it behooves us as marketers to take advantage of this huge demographic!
4. There’s a shift in the demographics of eSports viewers and participants.
eSports can be a fulfilling endeavor for both players and non-players alike, as evidenced by the fact that there has been a sudden influx of young people in recent years who are gravitating towards the activity.
According to Statista, the average age of an eSports enthusiast is 31 years old; however, the majority of fans identified their interest in this particular market as secondary to family. Those who do not play video games themselves tend to favor watching competitive matches – rather than participate in them themselves!
5. eSports is creating content to rival Hollywood and other forms of entertainment:
In many ways, eSports are merely mirroring the development of traditional media: more and more people are consuming content on a daily basis. This often entails consuming content in one form or another – be it film, music or video games – and as such, it is essential that we provide an ample variety of entertainment experiences for our audience.
By offering this expansive array of options for content consumption, you can maximize audience engagement and keep them coming back for more.
6. eSports has helped make gaming more respectable in the eyes of society as a whole:
Despite decades of controversy, it is becoming increasingly difficult to dismiss video gaming as simply a ‘way for maladjusted youths to liberate themselves from daily responsibilities.’
After all, eSports have proven themselves to be much more than simple diversions; they are legitimate sports that attract large followings, prize pools and lucrative sponsorships.
Such developments arguably legitimize the gaming industry as a whole and elevate its standing among societies around the globe.
Now that the business has been established, it’s time to get down to business! Startups should not delay their ambitions in order to make a profit; rather, they must act now and seize an opportunity.
With its limitless potential, eSports is poised to evolve into a truly global phenomenon – one that can excite and inspire millions of people around the globe. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can get involved in this captivating industry, be sure to take advantage of our resources!