It’s no secret that E-sports, in recent years, has been gaining popularity at a significantly faster rate than what most assumed back in 2014. E-sports and all its attachments have been filling a marketing niche untouched by the most prominent brands. A study has found that the consumer awareness of E-sports between 2015 and 2019 has doubled in number and was on its way to hit 2 billion people by the end of 2020.
In 2020 the market value of the global E-sports market hit just over 950 million U.S. dollars. It’s safe to assume then that E-sports has broken itself free from the basement tournaments of your college friend’s house into the mainstream. The future of gaming and E-sports looks bright, and here’s why.
Technology has been exponentially advancing in the past few decades. What couldn’t have been achieved a few years ago with graphics, design, and programming can now be achieved today because of next-generation hardware? Much of the E-sports industry has been incorporating much of this next-generation hardware into their system has substantially increased the number of gamers.
Although many games are getting more graphically intensive as the years’ pass, many E-sport games are still trying to cater to much of the public. A part of being more accessible to the public means that many of these games are backward compatible with many older-generation devices. This means that most of the population can play games at the comfort of their laptop (that’s capable of gaming, of course.).
Of course, that doesn’t mean that there are no innovations when it comes to gaming hardware. Many companies, such as Xidax, are known for constructing state-of-the-art and responsive, affordable gaming laptops that you can take on-the-go. Bring your gaming experience with you anywhere.
Expect to See an E-Sports Team at a University Near You!
As more and more people tune in to watch E-sports the same way they consume regular sports such as basketball and football, some universities worldwide and universities in the United States offer an E-sports scholarship program with some universities offering as much as $25,000 scholarships.
It may vary from university to university, but most E-sports scholarship programs find recruits by evaluating their prospects who have submitted their recruiting forms. In some instances, coaches will attend multiple tournaments to vet their candidates. They also hold try-outs for in-game specific roles, such as the cases of MOBAs (multiplayer online battle arena) Mid, Top lane, Support, and carries. However, this is not always the case for all MOBAs since each game will have its own mechanics in play.
These E-sports athletes are also required to maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher and may vary from university to university.
Since the viewership of E-sports has been on an astronomical rise surpassing even the NBA finals Game 7 back in 2016, investors, big companies, especially marketing companies, have taken notice. Expect to see an E-sports team sponsored by one of the fortune 500 hundred companies soon. This isn’t to say that these Fortune 500 companies haven’t already invested in these E-sports teams they have. Samsung even has a League of Legends team called Samsung White.
The fragmented playing field and digital platforms that E-sports operates on holds tangible and feasible monetization opportunities for companies willing to invest. The E-sports industry is one of the most technologically advanced and operated sports within the past decade.
There have always been talks of adding E-sports into the Olympics; after all, why not? E-sports are comparatively cheaper to produce and maintain than traditional sports teams such as the United States national basketball team.
E-sports have reached a point in its life cycle that it will need to nurture and develop players who will bring the gold medals to their home countries and bring home prestige and honor that comes with winning. Countries will no doubt invest in these teams in the future.
The future of E-sports and online gaming, in general, is bright. And it would be surprising if it fails anytime within the next 20 years. However, predicting the future can be difficult; there will always be twists and turns along the way. The gaming community and technological innovations are closely tied together, but predicting the flow of the gaming market is easier said than done.
With the pace of how fast technology is evolving, it is not surprising how well video games and the E-sports scene has aged over the past decade. But if data and numbers are trusted, the E-sports economy can be a competitor to traditional sports in viewership, monetization, and entertainment value.