Ever told your kid to stop playing too many video games? You could be undermining their chance to be a world-class esports pro! Not to mention millions in prizes, endorsements, twitch video monetization, and free gaming hardware. Most importantly, you may be restricting them from gaining the confidence and social functioning that they need.
You may have heard of e-sports in the past, but you probably aren’t aware of its magnitude. Mainstream esports events only began in the 2010s. This, of course, corresponds with the decade where services like Spectrum internet penetrated residential markets extensively. Today, both in the US and many other parts of the world, residential internet access is almost a utility like electricity or water supply. This has only set the stage for e-Sports to storm in and take over. Read on to find out just how much you’ve underestimated
Esports – Facts That Show Its Magnitude
In terms of audience, payouts, and pros, e-Sports are every bit as legit as a physical sporting event like the NBA or the NFL. So, while they may be newer, e-Sports are just as significant as any other international sport. The only difference being that esports pros don’t use or display conventional athletic ability. However, most gaming pros have regimens that, while different from a pro athlete’s training regimen, follow the same principle. They put in similar hours (or even more) every day. They work hard to improve and refine their skillset to near perfection. They win to the adulation of a sizable fan following and lose in front of millions of viewers all over the globe.
The gaming ecosystem is not just one big LAN party. It has grown into a phenomenon, based on the millions of players that play Dota2, Overwatch, CSGO, and even League of Legends. Most people play them for fun or are at most semi-pro. But for a smaller subset, these games are their profession. Here are a few interesting facts about the world of esports
Millions of esports Enthusiasts
The first thing you need to get straight is that esports has a much larger and much more diverse audience than most professional sports. Hundreds of millions of individuals across a range of ages, income strata, and backgrounds all over the world are united by their love of video games and competitive gaming. Newzoo estimates the number of competitive video game enthusiasts over 220 million globally.
Billions of Individuals Know of esports
While there are hundreds of millions of individuals that actually play esports (ranging from casual to expert to pro), they’re dwarfed in size by the global population that is aware of e-Sports. Almost 2 billion out of the estimated global population of 8 million are aware that esports and gaming exist. They may not play or understand them, but they are aware of them anyway. This may not seem like much, but consider how many people outside of the United States know what baseball or American football is. There may be a sizable number of individuals, but nowhere close to the 2 billion mark.
Almost Half-a-Billion Watched esports in 2020
While professional esports may include many occasional or casual viewers, it also has a core dedicated audience. Moreover, this audience grows each year, as e-Sports and even newer games become more and more mainstream. While the audience may have increased since then, by the end of 2020, the total global audience for e-Sports stood at nearly half a billion.
Dota 2 Remains the Biggest esports Tournament
Dota 2 began life as a user-made multiplayer map on one of the earliest yet most iconic gaming titles ever. Blizzard’s Warcraft and Warcraft: The Frozen Throne are the most recognizable out of an impressive list that includes franchises like Starcraft and World of Warcraft, making Blizzard a powerhouse at the time. However, the creator behind the Defense of the Ancients map, known as “IceFrog” among Dota fans, decided to move over to Valve as a standalone game.
Today, Dota 2 is by far the most recognizable and spoken-about MMO game in the world. It is also one of the most complex games, with far more variables than many other games today. While the game does have an unusually steep learning curve, that hasn’t stopped it from amassing an audience all over the world. While following the free-to-play model, the Dota 2 community has spawned the largest esports tournament in the world, with a prize pool of $30 million in 2019.
Mobile-Based e-Sports Are Expanding in SEA and Brazil
A few years ago, if you called yourself a gamer, it meant you played either console games or PC games. There were no other alternatives since modern games require a lot of computing power. More computing power typically involved more components, which meant handheld devices could only support basic and less demanding games. But once smartphones began to grow more powerful and also more cost-effective, they started challenging the gaming hierarchy.
The smartphones of today are often supercomputers in their own right. And the fact that they are portable, convenient, and readily available all over the world only adds to their use as gaming platforms. So, while hardcore PC or console gamers may not like it, mobile gaming is a very real thing. With games like PUBG and Call of Duty: Mobile pushing the conventional boundaries of smartphone gaming, one can expect great things to follow.
In countries like Brazil, India, and parts of SEA, high-quality gaming hardware is expensive. But these countries are also often the biggest smartphone markets in the world given their population sizes. So while they may not be able to always afford an Alienware gaming laptop, many can still afford a mid-range smartphone. Therefore, it makes sense that less expensive alternatives like mobile gaming are growing more popular.
Esports Generate Massive Revenue Streams
Finally, the most significant reason behind esports becoming a significant phenomenon: revenues. The video game and e-Sports sector has grown into a bona fide industry. The ecosystem consists of game studios, developers, testers, marketers, distributors, and players. But there are also companies that build specialized hardware, gaming systems, equipment, peripheral devices, and even gaming chairs. Then there are platforms like Steam and Origin that allow you to buy and play licensed games, as well as platforms like Twitch that allow professional gamers to monetize their skills and the audiences that value them. All in all, many feel gaming will start generating global revenues of over 1.5 billion by 2023.