The eSports Industry is Expected to Bring in Half a Billion Dollars in Revenue for 2018
Just as with traditional sports, eSports fans follow their favorite teams and players, watch matches via online broadcasts and even attend cup finals around the world. Currently, League of Legends, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 are among the most followed titles. The desire for mainstream media outlets to engage with eSports has lead to massive partnership deals between players, teams, brands and media. With increased investment from celebrities, teams and popular brands, it’s no surprise that eSports is growing at such an unprecedented rate.
eSports Brings Businesses Ample Opportunities by Appealing to Growing Audiences
US tech and media companies are paying more attention to eSports, searching for growth opportunities and the possibility to win over their most desirable demographic: 61% of millennials aged 18-34, of which 77% are men.
Though eSports is still a male-dominated pastime, viewership among females is growing and there are some European countries with sizeable female audiences: Sweden (24%), France (22%) and the UK (22%).
Meanwhile, advertisers such as Arby’s, Audi, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Gillette and Bud Light are reaching eSports’ (mostly millennial male) fandom. The majority of the current eSports industry valuation, around 71% ($350 million), comes from advertising and sponsorships.
eSports Offers Brands and Fans Unprecedented Access to Star Players
Accessibility is another strength of eSports. A good example is the NBA, which announced a partnership with Take-Two Interactive Software to launch a professional gaming league for the popular “NBA 2K” video game. Teams will be operated by NBA franchises and begin competing this year.
FC Barcelona recently announced a partnership with Japanese gaming conglomerate Konami and Spanish-based esports company eFootball.Pro, founded by Spain and Barcelona soccer star Gerard Piqué. The Catalans will field a team in the upcoming international competition Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 and will compete against other European club eSports teams which will be announced shortly.
eSports is Beneficial for Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Applications
Startups make use of blockchain technology to deploy smart-content, boost betting, host tournaments and ease the purchase of virtual assets, all of which can be applied to help grow the eSports industry. As a result, gamers gain faster and easier access to tournaments and team competitions. For most eSports players, tournaments are a way of life and online gaming platforms that have embraced blockchain platforms stand to gain the most.
Using blockchain-based eSports platforms, players test their skills and bet, not being tied to traditional payment systems or agents. Blockchain companies FirstBlood, Gilgam.es or EloPlay offer their users both single mode and team games, as well as tournaments, where they can master their skills for top-class eSports events.
There are over 1.4 billion registered players around the world, mostly focused on such popular games as League of Legends, Pro Evolution Soccer, CS:GO and Dota 2. Many of them want to create, manage and develop their own teams. So far, there are only 100 League of Legends clubs in the world. In comparison, the total number of clubs for soccer titles around the world is around 300,000 with nearly 300 million players.
New technologies are set to deal with this discrepancy by creating platforms for both amateur and professional eSports teams, which will soon make the industry a real threat to traditional sports as we know them today.
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