As technology is evolving, so is the gaming industry. E-sports is officially a thing. Over the years, there has been a massive growth in the demographics and viewership of Fortnite, Overwatch, Twitch, GO, Dota 2, and a few other games. If you are wondering, esports isn’t a fad. The industry is expected to generate $1194.8 million of revenue in 2021. Much more is to be revolutionized by this ever-evolving trend.
Many industries were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, including esports. People confined indoors managed to find ways to peruse their passion for gaming. Physical sports took the back seat, and online gaming emerged and turned out to be a promising alternative. During the first global lockdown, I too upgraded and choose from the desired Spectrum Internet plan to one with 400 Mbps download speed to play games on Twitch with my online gaming buddies. It was worth it!
Read on to know what is in store for the e-sports industry.
1: Mobile Esports is the Way Forward
Lite apps have been introduced in Southeast Asia and Brazil. 2021 will provide more growth opportunities for mobile esports.
Some mobile esports are already thriving, and the name of PUGB mobile is worth mentioning. It’s invading new regions every other day and organizing events. There is a huge fan base for esports tournaments in South East Asia, North America, and Europe.
2: VR and Esports
Players seek a more immersive experience, and so far, virtual reality has successfully managed to offer that. Everyone knows that VR enabled tech lets a player enjoy an exclusive in-game experience. They feel as if they are immersed inside the game.
3: 5G Bringing a Seamless Gaming Experience
As 5G gets in full swing, this will be an exciting era of innovation and development in esports. With more download speed, faster streaming capability, and robust real-time gameplay, players will enjoy a seamless experience. This would eliminate the need to install new infrastructure as well.
5G creates network slices, and each slice serves a different purpose. Network slicing will allow the spectators of the tournaments to enjoy 3D AR experiences, receive replays, and get a 360-degree view of all gameplays. Wouldn’t that be fun!
4: The Launch of New Gaming Devices
Sony and Microsoft continued to launch gaming consoles during the pandemic. In fact, these gaming devices helped people find a way to kill during the quarantine. The new consoles are packed with features, support more titles, and offer better graphical performance. This doesn’t mean PCs can no longer be used for gaming. They are just as good. However, the next generation of consoles is bigger, better, and sleeker. They support new esports titles as well.
5: Expansion of Esports Demographics
As online gaming tournaments and mobile esports are on the rise, the viewership and demographics have expanded significantly. Research says that the demographics will increase by 14 percent by the end of 2021. The world will have 550 million more esports fans. Right now, the fans include young and affluent males. The demographics are expected to change. Females are showing interest too, and are also considering it as a professional sport.
6: Esports Franchising
Another dominant trend to be seen is esports franchising. Many businesses are willing to invest in closed league systems. These circuits add stability to sports events. This makes franchises attractive for investors, teams as well as the leagues. These are the benefits a stakeholder stands to gain from franchising:
- Closer league and partner relationships. Also, entry fees will help organizers in capitalizing the initial ramp-up period of the league.
- Investors are free to commit an upfront capital amount without worrying about the depreciating value of their team.
- Teams can make long-term decisions and negotiate a longer deal with their sponsors.
Quarantining was a hell of a ride for sports enthusiasts, which also includes me. If it weren’t for my Spectrum TV packages that allowed me to watch movies and the latest shows on TV and online gaming, I couldn’t have survived.
Looking back at 2020, it has been a transformational year. It accelerated esports towards becoming one of the most valuable assets of the e-sports industry. The trend is not coming slowly even after the coronavirus pandemic is long gone. We might see a convergence between traditional sports and esports.