Even though video gaming has been with us for a couple of decades, it is only recently that eSports started hitting the headlines. The majority of the gamers were previously perceived as amateurs up to the 2000s, when the industry experienced a surge in gamers and fans.
According to research company Statista, the eSports market was valued at over 1.08 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, which represents a more than 50% increase in comparison to the previous year. The same market is expected to be worth 1.62 billion U.S. dollars in 2024.
What is so special to make the market grow at such a rate? The following are some of the reasons why eSports are becoming one of the most profitable industries:
There was a time that video gaming was only accessible to those who could afford sophisticated gaming machines. Some people also had to travel to the nearest gaming shop to play various video games. That has now changed, and people can engage in eSports over the internet.
Most of the games are hosted over the cloud, which means that people can play with not-so-sophisticated gaming devices. All that gamers need is an interrupted internet connection, a gaming console, a mobile device or a PC.
It thus means that you can engage in such games in the comfort of your home. You are as well not limited to certain hours as what happens in most gaming lounges. You can engage in eSports in-between your work breaks and rejuvenate your mind.
The popularity of eSports is proving to be a threat to traditional sports. By 2019, League of Legends recorded the highest number of views as data shows that there were almost 350 million hours watched.
This space also attracts big shots in the entertainment and sports industries—a good example of former NBA champion Michael Jordan who invested in Team Liquid, an eSports organization.
Even though football attracts the biggest percentage of online sports betting fans, eSports has started to attract attention. 2020 was a big year for eSports as most gaming activities were suspended, and gamblers had a few betting options, and eSports provided a new avenue.
Plenty of games to choose from
There is no room for getting bored when you settle for eSports. There are hundreds of categories of games such as war games, adventure, sports-themed games and fantasy games, to mention just a few. It thus means that you can always switch from one category in case you get bored.
Professional eSports teams usually recruit members based on their specialty. For instance, you can get a team made up of members who are good in sports such as soccer and others who are good in war games. Such a team will thus participate in different categories whenever there are professional competitions in place.
The quality of video games has increased a lot over the last two decades. Graphics are some of the most improved areas, and we can now stream games that appear real. Gaming machines with dedicated graphics cards are now available in the market, and they are affordable.
Internet penetration has also increased, and speeds are also rising with the introduction of the 5G network. Gamers can now stream games with low buffering. Response time has improved a lot, courtesy of the cutting-edge technologies that have been introduced. VR and AR technologies have also improved the sector in big ways.
It is a career path
The introduction of the internet opened up thousands of opportunities that were unheard of in the past. eSports has opened up several career options, and people are making a living. Unlike other sports, you do not have to be a physically superior being to become a pro eSports gamer.
Professional eSports gamers dedicate a few hours to their craft to become better. Pro gamers and those with growth potential are sometimes spotted by various teams and signed. People are now taking video gaming more seriously, and some are even becoming influencers on platforms such as YouTube and Twitch. Game developers always contract such people to increase brand awareness of their new products.
It is just like any other sport
The benefits of gaming, such as improved eye-to-hand coordination and boosting brain power, cannot be stressed enough. Gone are the days when gaming was viewed as an activity of the lazy in society. We can now see curriculum developers incorporating gaming into education.
eSports is no different, and gamers stand to benefit as well. Fans worldwide are now watching as pros game just like what happens in football, boxing and baseball. The availability of streaming platforms such as Twitch and YouTube is a blessing to participants in this sector.
Above are some of the major reasons why eSports have amassed a lot of attention recently. We expect that the sector will continue to grow as more participants join the industry.