The current esports environment
The world of esports was already a multi-million-pound industry before the start of 2020, and although there have been obvious issues this year, the industry continues to grow. All traditional sports are suffering throughout 2020 but the nature of esports is the very reason why it will carry on regardless – if anything, its popularity and participation have grown. Many live events will be cancelled due to social restrictions, but there are still several big-money events being played out from the homes and bedrooms of the top players.
You only need to take one quick look at the various prize pools available for the top esports events and you will see how serious this type of gaming is. It doesn’t take much to recognise the huge potential that is likely to be fulfilled over the coming years as well: millions of pounds are continually being put up for the top events and the social media & online gaming combination looks just as strong as ever. The future of esports looks set for growth irrespective of the situation with physical sports.
Will 2020 be a watershed moment for esports?
Make no mistake, the huge catastrophe that has materialized in 2020 will leave its mark on the world – but Esports has still managed to attract a lot of new fans in the same period. The constant need for fresh online content plays into the hands of esports organisations, especially given the fact that millions of people have been left with nothing to do but scroll through their mobile phones for months.
The speed at which the industry is growing might be apparent to many, but let the following numbers sink in to cement the facts. Esports global revenues are set to break the US$1 billion mark by the end of 2020, and it looks like it will continue its rise to around US$1.3 billion by 2023.
Most of this revenue will be down to media contracts and sponsorships, reinforcing the idea that people and companies are willing to invest in esports. It looks like this current year, and everything that has happened so far, will only help to accelerate the growth of this expanding industry.
What will happen next for esports?
More fans, more gamers, and more revenue are all to be expected for esports in the coming months and years. But what else can we expect to see? As we said, the strength of esports is its ability to drive forward regardless of what is happening in the real world, as long as the internet survives then we can continue to enjoy esports.
Professional gamers are already enjoying celebrity status and as long as software developers keep creating new and exciting games, there will be a demand to play. As we have seen, where there is demand and high viewing numbers, there will always be people willing to place a bet. Just look at the stir Charles Leclerc has made with his esports debut following the postponement of the F1 season: he has brought the esports community a new level of respectability.
Just as sports and betting are now joined at the hip online, the natural progression is for esports to attain similar status. In all fairness this has already started, with most of the big-name bookies offering esports markets. As soon as more people jump onto the esports bandwagon, however, these bookies will surely see a huge spike in bets. They might even start to see esports as one of their biggest betting markets and, along with live streaming of the action, it could be the perfect all-in-one service for viewers. Whatever happens, the future of esports looks very exciting indeed.