The way many of us experience and appreciate our leisure time has changed so much over the past few years. There were plenty of people forced into more sedentary hobbies and pastimes whilst others took to getting back out into physical activity. But for those connected with gaming everyone will have seen there has been a real noticeable upturn in interest in the competitive gaming space.
There have been some eye watering figures which show the industry is just going from strength to strength. It was noted by game tracking website Steamcharts, Counter-Strike Global Offensive, the eSports tournament favorite, hit 1 million concurrent players for the first time in March 2020. Now over a year later there have been a further advance in numbers with 1.3 million concurrent players recorded. Also, with suggestions that 70 million people will watch an eSports final in the near future, this is more than the viewership of professional sports finals. It could be argued much like our article here on ‘eSports is the Future of All Sports’, eSports really is the future. But let’s take a further dive into why that would be the case.
Investment into eSports
Actual money invested into the tournaments continues to grow with Businesswire commenting: “continued social distancing will boost further engagement with videogames and esports.” Big brands such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz are just two companies who are looking to connect with a new audience.
There has been a noticeable rise in the number of sports betting platforms which are now offering odds on competitive eSports. This isn’t just limited to the big tournaments either. The online sportsbook on Ladbrokes has been particularly forward-thinking in embracing eSports. Amidst a broader focus on more “traditional” sports, this platform now includes regular odds listings for day-to-day eSports events with odds on Overwatch leagues now sitting beside the more established eSports titles such as the aforementioned CS:GO.
Education is key
There are a growing number of college courses which are focusing on gaming and specifically eSports as part of their curriculum. Educational organizations around the globe are recognizing and capitalizing on the growth of eSports as a potential career path by offering training for potential future professional players. CBS News have in fact ran a documentary on the growth and development opportunities in education, such is the impact the industry is having.
Mobile eSports is growing too
Mobile gaming is bringing down the barriers to entry for players, with participants not needing a $3,000 top spec PC to play and is now being mentioned as a significant contributor to the growth of the industry. Developers Riot Games announced on Twitch earlier this year that they would be bringing eSports into their title, Wild Rift, their League of Legends game built for mobile devices. That is just one of the many offerings which have entered into competitive gaming on mobile. Clash Royale and PUBG Mobile are two of the more well-known tournament titles but then consider that the Call of Duty: Mobile world championship had a prize pot of $2million assigned to it.