What Can We Expect From eSports in 2019 and beyond?
eSports started out with small audiences, as a fledging enterprise and was something gamers would participate from their own homes. But now things have changed and we can expect even more to come in 2019 and beyond.
eSports refer to electronic sports and involves players playing video games competitively against one another. Since the start of this sport in the early 1970s, the whole scene has exploded with massive prizes at stake for big names like Luminosity Gaming who have their own professional teams taking part in tournaments all over the world. The sport can be witnessed in large arenas, attracting huge crowds and massive sponsorship deals. Fans even tune in and play online to watch these tournaments and matches, which is in itself, becoming an increasingly attractive way of being part of the action.
Over the last few years, eSports have become extremely popular and many companies are realising there is a lot of money to be made from the industry. The 2018 mid-seasonal invitational final for professional League of Legends players attracted a massive audience of more than 100 million viewers and this figure is likely to be beaten in 2019 and beyond, meaning the industry is now massive!
Companies are sure to continue to take further advantage of the industry now going forwards as it gives many organisations a way to reach a demographic they have not been able to before. By 2020 the global eSports market is predicted to be worth $1.5 billion, which is primarily made up of sponsorship and advertising that reaches a global audience of 600 million fans, as well as ticket sales, betting and merchandise. Players together with fans of eSports are generally of a younger demographic and less likely to watch regular TV or mainstream sports, so eSports really is a way to reach a whole new audience.
It has been rumoured for a while that eSports was set to become a medal event and it looks like this is now going to come in fruition in 2019. The Southeast Asian Games are going to include eSports within their 2019 event and the 2022 competition will fully recognise eSports as an official medal event going forwards.
The future is likely to see professional sports clubs buying existing eSports teams or creating their own to compete in tournaments and leagues. They could see massive financial benefits by doing this and won’t want to miss out on the growing eSports industry. Having an eSports team will help them to raise their profile worldwide and attract new supporters to the club, as eSports competitions are streamed all over the globe.
Some experts have even tried to claim that eSports has now reached its peak with additional growth to be expected, however, is far from the case. eSports is now becoming a hot topic within betting circles and this looks like an area that will see a massive rise in 2019. The popularity of eSports is continuing to grow and it is only a matter of time before it becomes one of the mainstream sports that punters bet on, this will then open up a whole host of new opportunities within the industry and increase its value.