Today, we are going to discuss about Esports : A Guide to Competitive video Gaming.
In terms of potential opportunities, I think esports will compete with the biggest traditional sports leagues. This emerging industry has a tonne of room to grow in the areas of licencing, sponsorships, merchandising, and ticket sales. Steve Borenstein, former CEO of ESPN and the NFL Network and Chairman of Activision Blizzard’s Esports Division.
Competent video gamers compete in a booming global industry called esports. Esports include competitions across a variety of video games, much like traditional sports do with baseball, basketball, and football. Contrary to popular belief, the esports industry is real, expanding globally, and investable; it is not just a phenomenon taking place in the basements of unemployed 20-somethings. In actuality, esports are watched by more than 380 million viewers worldwide, both online and offline. League of Legends’ 2016 world championship attracted 43 million more viewers than the NBA Finals Game 7 that year (31 million viewers). The esports industry holds promise for a wide range of monetization opportunities due to its fragmented landscape and digital platform.
An overview of the sector and advice for those who are interested in investing in it are provided in the following article. The participants in esports, the audience’s size and demographics, the dynamics of the market, and how to approach investing in the area will all be covered. After talking to people, learning about the industry, and starting my own esports company, I will offer not only my own experience and insight but also third-party data and analysis (Konvoy).
Esports: What Is It?
- Online gaming is turned into a spectator sport through esports, which is short for “electronic sports.” The experience is comparable to watching a professional sporting event, with the exception that viewers watch video gamers compete against one another in a virtual setting rather than a physical one. If it’s difficult to understand why anyone would enjoy watching someone else play a video game, consider how entertaining it is to watch basketball players like Steph Curry or Lebron James play. The same is true for those who enjoy watching top video gamers compete, just as traditional sports fans enjoy watching elite athletes perform at the pinnacle of their profession.
- In addition to more commonplace sports-related video games like NBA 2K and FIFA, this sector also includes games like League of Legends, Counter-Strike, and Dota. Individual players can either join larger organisations to compete for large cash prizes, as we’ll cover later, or stream their gameplay to earn money. Social media, live-streaming websites, and in-person interactions at competitions are just a few of the ways that players can interact with their fans. On the other hand, supporters can follow and watch their preferred teams compete in national and international competitions. This ecosystem is surrounded by numerous technology platforms, services, events, analytics platforms, and significant investor capital as it expands.
- The success of a player in esports is also unusual in that it is unrelated to how tall, strong, thin, or quick they are. It is ultimately irrelevant whether the gamer is 5’2″ or 6’8″ tall, despite the fact that there is unquestionably valuable insight linking physical health to improved gamer performance. They are both capable of reaching the pinnacle of any game, whether it be League of Legends, CS:GO, Dota 2, or another. Esports can even the playing field for things like location, culture, and gender. This democratisation of participation enhances the appeal of esports and creates a fan base that is active all over the world.
- Due to its reliance on digital platforms, esports is also more scalable and fast-paced than traditional sports, which have physical and spatial limitations. Basketball, for instance, could not be played 100 versus 100 due to the inability of the court to accommodate 200 players. However, in esports, new games can be developed with infinitely scalable dynamics, variances, and players. A new game or update to an established franchise can actually have a significant impact. For instance, in order to transition from the 2012 version of Call of Duty: Ghosts, for instance, players and viewers had to learn twelve new multiplayer maps. Updates to well-known games result in a steep learning curve because gameplay dynamics and tactics can drastically change.
What Are the Most Popular Esports Games?
The top ten games on the king of streaming sites, Twitch, don’t change much from month to month, despite slight changes in the actual rankings of the most popular esports games (Table 1). League of Legends is still the most popular eSport in the world as of right now. For those who are unfamiliar with esports, it’s also important to know that FIFA and Madden aren’t the most played video games in this genre. Instead, first-person shooter games, real-time strategy, and multiplayer online battle arenas are the most popular esports genres. In these games, players control a single character in a team that must destroy the opponent’s main building (where players take part in a firefight across a map).
Parties Involved in the Esports Landscape
The esports landscape is undoubtedly complicated and occasionally challenging to navigate. The key players in the industry are described in the section that follows.
It takes a lot of work to rise to the top of the esports field. Players specialise in a single game to advance through the ranks, honing their abilities through extensive, competitive play. Some people train for as long as 14 hours per day to improve their quick reflexes and multitasking skills. The two main paths for talented players to pursue careers in esports are as follows:
- Streaming: “Streamers” are gamers who broadcast their gameplay live on the internet. It is customary to play like this in free time. Even though streaming can be incredibly lucrative, many streamers must choose between streaming for a living and trying to play professionally, which may result in them earning less money. Having said that, not all streamers possess the talent necessary for professional play. Some simply have “streaming personalities” that viewers enjoy following, supporting, and subscribing to. For the most prosperous, this can generate impressive revenue streams. For instance, a streamer of video games by the name of “PewDiePie” has the most subscribed to YouTube channel in the entire world. He currently has close to 57 million YouTube subscribers and has a polarising style that causes viewers to often find him either “highly delightful or incredibly annoying.” He reportedly earned $7.4 million in 2015.
- Playing Professionally: The select few who advance to the professional level face off against the top teams in competitions held all over the world. They typically develop fan bases throughout their careers for both themselves and the teams and organisations they represent (much like Lebron James, who has a fan base regardless of whether he plays for the Heat or the Cavaliers). Pro gamers who are successful can make six figures or even millions. Professional careers for top athletes typically begin around 16 or 17 years old, and they typically retire around 24. Esports professionals typically begin and end their careers much earlier than the average professional athlete, although there are variations across different games and publishers. Retired esports professionals have a variety of options after leaving the industry, including choosing to stream themselves, coach esports teams, form their own team, work for publishers, or stop participating altogether.
Professional players compete for cash prizes by joining teams (in multi-player games) or playing alone (in 1 vs. 1) games. Each team specialises in and plays one particular game, such as Counter-Strike, League of Legends, or Dota. Millions of people watch these tournaments online. Millions follow the teams that compete there, and tens of thousands of spectators follow them to live tournaments. Evil Geniuses, Fnatic, and Optic Gaming are just a few examples.
ORGANIZATIONS (ORGS) (ORGS) (ORGS)
Like an NCAA college or university that competes in football, basketball, and hockey all under the same umbrella organisation, the best esports teams are chosen to be a part of organisations that have multiple teams that specialise in their respective video games but operate under the same name. Examples of these organisations include Cloud9, NRG, TSM, Optic Gaming, and Fnatic (the college or university). An organisation can be thought of as an elite assemblage of teams participating in various video games. A few of the games are one-on-one, while others are team-based and pit two teams against one another. Organizations will look for sponsorships with brands to access additional revenue streams aside from cash prizes as they recruit more high-profile players and teams, leveraging a larger fan base following. The following and the accomplishments of the core players and teams of that particular organisation determine these.
- Esports teams will compete in the league for their particular video game, which features regular seasons, playoffs, and world championships, while repping the organisation of which they are a part. Esports teams compete in video game leagues in a similar way that basketball teams do in the NBA, where they go up against one another. Companies like Major League Gaming (MLG) or the Electronic Sports League manage league tournaments (ESL). The Call of Duty World League (run by MLG), the Pro League for CS:GO, and the North American League of Legends Championship Series (organized by ESL) are among the leagues.
- The tournaments held by Major League Gaming attracted dozens of spectators when they first started in the early 2000s. The biggest tournaments in esports are now almost as big as regular sporting occasions. The League of Legends Championship attracted a 27 million-strong online audience in 2016 and sold out the 15,000-seat Staples Center in Los Angeles and the 40,000-seat World Cup Stadium in Seoul in under an hour. Earlier this year, over the course of two weekends, 173,000 spectators attended the Intel Extreme Masters competition in Katowice, Poland. Other well-known international esports venues include Seattle’s KeyArena and London’s Wembley Arena (12,500 spectators each) (10,000 fans).
- It may come as no surprise that prize money for the biggest tournaments can be very high. In 2016, there was $93.3 million in total prize money, up from $61.0 million in 2015 and a far cry from $5.2 million in 2010. The 2016 International Dota 2 Championship had a prize pool of $20.8 million, which is almost twice as much as The Masters’ payout.