Starting with the first organized video game competition happening back in 1972, esports has been happening for decades. Esports has grown significantly in the last 40 years from Stanford students competing at Space Invaders for a subscription to the Rolling Stones magazine to people all around the world playing for cash prizes in games like Fortnite, League of Legends, and Counter-Strike. As gaming technology improves, so has the industry in its size and total revenue. Here are trends you can expect to see in 2020:
More esports celebrities
Just as traditional sports such as basketball and American football have their own celebrities, so does the esports industry. The opportunities for top gamers to showcase their skills has never been easier. This is all thanks to streaming services such as Twitch and YouTube as well as social media networking platforms like Instagram and Twitter. Here are some of the top esports celebrities and their earnings from competitive gaming to give you a better picture of what motivates these top-tier gamers:
- Kyle Giersdorf aka Bugha: $3 million
- Saahil Arora aka UNiVeRsE: $2.1 million
- Lee Jae-dong aka Jaedong: $611,000
With cash prizes and brand endorsements on the line, the gaming community grows every single day.
A growing fan base
There are an estimated 194 million people who are a part of the esports audience in 2019. This number is projected to grow by 42% and hit 276 million in 2022. The total viewership of tournament finals for popular video games is growing by the millions. An estimated 58 million viewers watched the 2017 League of Legends finals which is more than the 2017 MLB World Series (38 million viewers) and the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals (11 million viewers) viewership combined. Only the 2017 NFL Super Bowl had more viewers than the 2017 League of Legends finals coming in at 124 million viewers.
Esports revenue growth
You might have already guessed that more viewers means more revenue and you’re correct. The esports industry is expected to generate $1.2 billion by the end of 2019 and is expected to multiply by 150% to $3 billion in 2022. How is all of this money being generated? Sales are coming in from different sources such as live streaming, sponsorship, and advertising. The growing popularity of online gaming doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon which is great news for both gamers and fans.
Increased regulation in response to cheating
Esports organizations will need to improve and enforce gaming in order to gain greater legitimacy as the gaming industry continues to grow. The incentive to cheat by doing things as a way to achieve success has never been greater. Just as cheating has been a real issue in traditional sports such as baseball and football, cheating has also been an issue since the early days of video games to now. Better gaming regulation will help the esports industry gain more respect on a global scale.
Are there any trends you expect to see in 2020 within the esports industry? Share them with us by joining us in our forum!