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What Does the Future of Esports Hold?

Posted on February 10, 2022 by Riley Cashly

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Gaming has slowly been taking over the world. Did you know, for example, that the gaming industry is worth more than the music and movie industries combined? It’s true. In 2020, the industry was worth $57 billion in the United States alone. There are many reasons for this, including technological advancements, higher standards, and cheaper consoles. This surge in growth has led to the rise of esports, a gaming format where players compete professionally in front of spectators.

This offshoot of gaming is already popular, and it looks like it’ll continue to develop in popularity and prestige in the years to come. So, what does the future of esports hold? Let’s take a look.

A Growing Audience

The year-on-year growth of esports viewers is pretty astounding. Since 2016, the number of views has risen by around 12% each year. It’s expected that by the end of 2022, there’ll be a worldwide esports audience of around 434 million people. This includes both casual viewers and enthusiasts, with the latter making up slightly less than 50% of the audience. This is encouraging news for the industry since, in order for anything to become popular on a long-term basis, there must be a core of die-hard fans. And the esports industry has more than 200 million of those fans across the globe.

Increased Fan Engagement

Esports rose to prominence in large part because of its high levels of fan engagement. For starters, there’s a low entry barrier: gamers can easily play the same games that the professionals are playing and, if they’re good enough, they can even consider turning pro themselves. Fans can also use an esports sportsbook to back a winner, follow professionals on Twitch and social media, and actively support one of the leading teams. That’s all happening right now, and there’s no doubt there’ll be even more engagement avenues opening up in the coming years, especially as the metaverse becomes a greater part of everyday life.

Once the metaverse is up and running, esports spectators will be able to experience the action in a whole new way. Rather than sitting in a venue, watching the professionals from a seat, they’ll be able to watch the action from within the game. It’ll allow fans to view the competition from multiple angles and to even feel like they’re “part” of the game.

More Players

Despite the huge growth in popularity, it’s important to remember that esports is still relatively young. The world’s leading players didn’t set out to become professional gamers, they were just able to tap into a new career choice. They were as surprised as anyone else that they could make a living this way. Now that this path has been created, younger gamers can view gaming as a viable career option. The increasing number of professional players will help to make competitions more competitive and thus more exciting to watch.

Corporate Sponsorship

The major traditional sports grew to such a high level because of an influx of corporate money. This only followed once there was widespread engagement with the sports from fans. Esports is in a strong position because of the sheer number of viewers it can sell as an audience to companies. There are also some major international corporations, such as Coca Cola, Red Bull, Kraft Group, and Comcast, that are sponsoring esports in one way or another. As the industry gains more credibility, we can expect more companies to pump money into esports. The result will be higher profile, more professional tournaments, and a wider reach.

However you look at it, all the signs point towards a bright future for the world of esports and, as a result, the gaming industry in general.

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