Will eSports Become New Pastime?
Esports is a spectator sport from across the globe, and it is based on popular video games like League of Legends and Fortnite. The amount of money that these titles have generated runs into billions of dollars. Just as it is in traditional sports, televised live entertainment, driven by athletes, are being produced by Riot Games, Epic Games, Activision and their licenses.
More revenue is generated by the video game industry than the music and movie industry combined, and that is over $120 billion, if information from Neilson Superdata is something to go by. This completely decimates the meager 11 billion that professional football generates and according to data by New Casinos UK - even rivals figures that new slots sites online have generated.
Compared to the most popular professional sports in America, namely baseball, basketball, and football, esports is very small, but at the moment, it is at par with popular sports entertainments like wrestling. Information suggests that over $211M was paid out for over 4,000 Esports tournaments in 2019, and this signals an increase of 29% from the $163M prize pool of 2018. Professional players, both as a team and individually, take part in bracket style organized tournaments regularly.
Esports has many different genres. The multiple online battle arena or MOBA, first person shooter or FPS, real-time strategy or RTS, Battle Royales, Card Games, Sports Games, Racing and Fighting, are the most popular genres. The mobile and virtual reality games will also be included as part of esports for the purpose of this article. For all these genres, there are unique audiences, but the MOBA genre is the fastest growing among them, with games like the League of Legends as the examples.
Streaming media platforms like YouTube and Twitch are used to broadcast and view esports competitions. When the events are on, tens of thousands of viewers tune in to watch the teams they cherish get involved in matchups of the time. This does not just entertain, it also gives viewers the chance to see their favorite players showcase their flawless strategies and plays, and from them, they learn new tricks to use when they play. According to the World Championship Finals of CNBC, the League of Legends that took place in South Korea, and was hosted by the publisher of the game, Riot Games, was joined by close to 100 million unique viewers online. For the Super Bowl of last year, the number that tuned in was just 98 million. You do the math.
The fact remains that the viewership of major sporting events would be dominated by esports, and time will come when it will become a major program on worldwide and national television stations. Owner of an esports team and former NBA player, Rick Fox, while talking to TMZ, revealed that football is not as international as gaming in America, irrespective of the fact that we love it so much.
Gaming is a universal thing and it comes with very simple rules. In fact, the simplicity and universality are the essences of the competition. The gaming action can be supported with commentary by broadcasters when it’s produced for television, and doing so, they state the objectives for the game on the big screen. Similar to the game of golf, it is not necessary to have prior knowledge of the games before you can join as a spectator, because esports broadcasts can be sustained by the player base of the games, making it an additional advantage to have non player spectators, who will study the rules as the game progresses. Highlights, strategies, and rules could be supported by segments.
Other spectator sports are also going virtual. Because of the pressure of the health crisis, Formula One had to develop a new Virtual Grand Prix series, which involves a couple of the present Formula One drivers. To get people to view this, they used the F1 2019 PC video game that was created by Codemasters. It was broadcast on ESPN and other streaming services for spectators to enjoy.
The plan for the weeks ahead is to post a set of stories about the swift development of esports in the last 10 years, players, owners, and personnel of the teams inclusive.