Esports, also known as competitive gaming, are leagues or tournaments where players play video games. They are revolutionising the way people watch and follow gaming.
Esports have some similarities with traditional sports, like teams and broadcasters. However, there are some differences too. Here are some of the main ones:
Increased Demand for High-Quality Gaming Hardware
Esports are essentially competitive video games in an organized environment. They can range from popular team-oriented multiplayer battles to first-person shooters and virtual reconstructions of physical sports. Esports events can attract millions of spectators who watch online or, in smaller numbers, follow the action live at the event venue.
In order to support the massive growth of eSports, many gaming hardware companies have created specialized products designed specifically for the high-level competition. The popularity of these products has helped create a demand for high-quality gaming equipment that allows players to achieve the best possible gaming experience.
In addition, eSports are also creating extra revenue for the gaming industry through advertising, merchandise sales and ticket sales for events and tournaments. These revenues are helping to bridge the gap between traditional video games and the mainstream media. In fact, some professional sports teams have even started embracing eSports by creating their own leagues and investing in gaming teams and players.
Extra Revenue for the Gaming Industry
The esports industry has created immense opportunities for gaming companies and other businesses interested in capitalizing on its popularity. Its millennial fanbase, huge growth potential and untapped opportunity in the Middle East make it an excellent platform for businesses to expand their brand presence and reach.
Moreover, the competitions are similar to traditional sports with qualifying matches, playoffs and finals. Esports athletes are recruited and trained by esports organizations that have multiple teams that specialize in different video games but operate under one name, just like NCAA college and university athletic programs.
The biggest revenue streams for esports come from merchandise and ticket sales, and sponsorship and media rights. Currently, the top sponsors are tech and gaming-oriented companies but a growing number of non-endemic brands have started investing their marketing budgets in esports, including luxury and lifestyle brands. The esports industry is also expanding into new markets as the accessibility of mobile gaming democratises competitive video gaming and attracts new audiences that previously were unable to afford to participate.
Increased Brand Recognition
Esports is a booming global industry where skilled video gamers compete. Unlike the popular misconception that this is a phenomenon occurring in basements of unemployed twentysomethings, esports is actually a regulated, scalable, and investable industry with multiple monetization opportunities.
ESports tournaments attract a live audience just like traditional sports events. This makes them ideal for advertisers who want to target a large and engaged group of fans. The esports trend also suggests that spectators enjoy watching professional video gamers perform at the top of their game. Much like they do with Lebron James or Steph Curry.
As esports continues to grow, teams are becoming more personality-driven, and sponsorship deals are shifting away from logo slaps toward branded content that is relevant to the fan base. In addition, a new installment of, or update to, an existing video game creates an entirely new learning curve for viewers and players alike. The regular updates are further evidence that gaming is a living, breathing industry.
Increased Community Engagement
While gaming may seem like a socially isolating activity, the esports community has created strong camaraderie among players. This is due in part to gaming’s underdog roots. Moreover, many games are available on mobile devices, making them accessible to gamers regardless of their location or device.
While most esports competitions take place on PCs and video game consoles, a growing number are played on mobile devices. In addition, esports teams often compete in multiple video games under a single organization, much the way an NCAA college or university sports team might compete in football, basketball, and baseball under one name.
This allows esports athletes to build a career across different games, increasing their longevity and stability. However, this can be a challenge for some gamers since esports requires a large amount of time to compete in. Further, it is not yet widely recognized as a legitimate sport by all governments, which can impact the esports athlete’s ability to make a living.