Video games have seen a monumental shift in the last decade, going from a young person’s hobby to a multi-billion-dollar industry that has quickly become one of the world’s most lucrative. Within this field, the competitive sector has grown massively, and we’ve seen the rise of Esports as a global market before our very eyes. There’s plenty that people don’t know or don’t understand about the mania and obsession surrounding Esports.
So, here’s a short guide on what you may not know about it.
Esports betting, believe it or not, is a steadily growing aspect of the Esports industry. Given how huge sports betting has become thanks to online means, it’s no surprise that the nature of competitive gaming has attracted bookmakers and punters to try their luck at seeing who’ll come out on top. While it’s still a long way off matching the value of the betting market for the likes of football and horse racing, the global appeal of Esports has meant that live betting is available 24/7.
Many assume that Esports games are limited to the most talked-about, best-selling titles such as Call of Duty, FIFA or the unstoppable Fortnite – a game that saw a teenager become a millionaire by winning a New York-based tournament. This isn’t the case, however, as Esports also sees a huge number of fans tune in for more niche titles such as Counter-Strike, League of Legends and Starcraft that arguably require more skill and tactical knowledge to properly compete in.
The last decade has seen Esports grow from streamed underground conventions to worldwide, televised events that non-gaming fans can tune in to. According to Newzoo, 2018 saw 215 million occasional viewers and 165 million enthusiasts – an overall audience size of around 380 million people. On top of this, they expect it to expand even more, with the prediction that Esports audience will have grown another 14% by 2021.
The beauty of Esports coming from the humble roots of video game pastimes is that really anyone can join in some way. While the best of the best are those that have trained their fingers throughout the years, Esports is a great way for spectators to become participants and competitors. Becoming good enough to challenge professionals takes a lot of practice. However, networking with those in the industry and building a team of players couldn’t be easier thanks to the streamlining of online play and the adept promotional avenues of social media.
Esports have made names out of the most humble beginnings, with the likes of Ninja and the members of FaZe Clan becoming stars of their own respective games. As a result of this, more and more established celebrities are becoming attached to the industry – either as a fan or as a face to further broaden the market. Most recently, sporting icons have joined forces with the Esports industry to back charities and global organisations like UNICEF to bring about change – using its massive audience and huge value for the pursuit of good causes.