The world changed around pandemic with people quarantined in their homes. People are getting bored out of their minds restoring to cooking or watching Netflix all the time. If you are bored and overwhelmed by switching between shows on Netflix or tired of cooking, for a change you might want to try the world of esports.
Esports is referred to the competitive video game sport that has grown out from the dorm and basement rooms to incorporate organised tournaments across the globe with professional players. Just like other sports events, these tournaments were also in-person events before COVID-19 pandemic. You can see teams competing with live audiences cheering them up and referees who monitored the games.
Esports is a multi-million industry
If for some reason you are hearing esports for the first time, then you are behind the curve as this industry is one of the fastest-growing investment opportunities in the world. Today, with an estimated audience of 453 million, the fan base of esports is expected to grow to 557 million by 2021. If you think it’s the stereotypical high school students munching on Doritos and soda, then you are mistaken. Universities across the United States have begun hosting esports events and investing in the industry. According to the National Association of Collegiate Esports, today more than 170 U.S. colleges include esports programs in their curriculum and are offering up to $16 million per year in scholarships. With over 1,350 schools and 40,000 players, college esports tournaments are hugely popular.
Esports is attracting investments
Due to the demographics of its audience, esports is attracting the attention of traditional Wall Street bankers as well as advertisers. Most players and fans associated with this industry are in their teens or early 20s. This age group is most coveted for advertisers as they are there primary consumers. Furthermore, 43% of esports fans have an annual household income of $ 75,000.
Think about it, if you are a brand who want to acquire new, young and high spending customers, wouldn’t esports industry will be attractive for you? Brands like Louis Vuitton are already partnering with videogame developers like Riot Games. Louis Vuitton already has its virtual items available for players in League of Legends that can be bought for real money. Even some brands are profiting from esports without having any association with the industry. In 2018, the website of MeUndies was crashed because professional gamer Ninja mentioned the brand during one of his live streams.
Meteoric rise in popularity of esports
Looking entirely from a social standpoint, esports is a highly inclusive sport as compared to other games. Men and women of all ages irrespective of their social groups and demographics can play on the same teams. The virtual format of the games overcomes any language barrier. Additionally, unlike in real sports where your potential to succeed is greatly dependent on your genetics and physical attributes, anyone can become a competent gamer with enough practice.
If we talk from a technological standpoint, esports is based on video games that are improving by the day. Increasingly life-like visuals, improvement in internet speed, easy availability of mobile devices and extremely realistic animations make for an immersive experience. A high percentage of teenagers play videogames in their youth. According to the latest Pew Research, 90% of teens aged 13-17 played video games.
For sports gamblers, esports is also offering opportunities to bet and win. Esports betting with bitcoin is extremely popular now. This is because it combines the best of both worlds, virtual sports and cryptocurrency.
Pandemic might have adversely affected sports across the globe, but it has greatly influenced the rise of esports. With more time to spend on video games, both players and fans have made esports a phenomenal success.