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News like David Beckham invests £25 million to launch his own Esports club, Spanish LaLiga renews with EA Sports for the next ten years, PSG allies with a Hong Kong club to relaunch their ‘League of Legends’ division or Tour de France team up with Zwift to launch its first virtual competition…. are the new kind of sports news for the billionaire industry electronic sports, also known as eSports or Esports, which is a form of sport competition using video games.
Esports is the new age Industry, a phenomenon that has opened the door to new business ideas in a field that is already moving huge amounts of money and that has turned the simple electronic game into a profession. So now we are talking about video game competitions with a professional character.
They are multiplayer competitions of different video game disciplines. Their mechanism is very simple: each sport has its own rules and they have access to different devices and platforms online or offline.
Although at first, it might seem that the format would not be successful because the audience would not enjoy watching the game as much as playing it themselves. But the surprise is that these video game competitions in which spectators watch other gamers play, catch on.
And the proof is in the figures this industry manages at present.
The Esports industry in the last 2 years is experiencing one of the highest growth in followers, becoming the new age billionaire industry that is growing dramatically as an alternative to traditional sport.
And we have to mention that the confinement due to the Covid-19 crisis forced most sports to stop their activity. There was no football, basketball or tennis league, no Formula 1 racing and the Tokyo Olympics will not be held as planned. The world of sporting events was therefore at a standstill, and the alternative that gained strength was precisely that of playing sports online: Esports. So this sector has benefited from a notable increase in audiences, attracting new users who are starting out in this modality. Furthermore, viewership on streaming platforms such as Twitch and YouTube have increased over the past three months, and the views of Esports excelled.
In 2019, the Esports income increase with respect to 2018 was 22.4% and in 2020 revenues are expected to reach $1.1 billion, after reaching $950 million in 2019. In the study made by Newzoo Consulting in 2019, they are confident of reaching this amount by the present year, which would represent an increase of 15,6%.
Almost 75% of the expected income for 2020, which amounts to $822.4 million is expected to come from media sponsorships and broadcasting rights, $121.7 million from the purchase of tickets and merchandising by users and $116.3 million from investments of video game companies and publishers to support the organization and sponsor the tournaments and events taking place.
Globally, the total Esports audience is expected to grow to 495 million people by 2020, representing an annual growth of +11.7%. Of this total expected audience, users considered “E-sports enthusiasts” are expected to represent 222.9 million.
Esports Genres and Games
Less than a decade ago, no one believed competitive gaming could rise to the level of traditional sporting events.
Electronic players have gone from playing at friends’ homes and basements to playing big competitions in mythical sports temples, such as Seoul World Cup Stadium, Madison Square Garden, Staples Center, the Beijing National Stadium, among others.
It is clear that Esports have become a media show with millions of dollars in revenues, competing with the major leagues of traditional sports all over the world.
Most popular Genres of Esports today:
- Real-Time Strategy Games: one of the key foundations in Esports, with games like StarCraft: Brood War, Warcraft III, StarCraft II.
- First Person Shooter Games: CS: GO, Call of Duty, Rainbow Six: Siege, Overwatch.
- Fighting Games: Street Fighter, Super Smash Bros, Tekken.
- Sports Games: FIFA, Madden NFL, NBA 2K, Pro Evolution Soccer, Rocket League.
- Mass Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games: with games like Final Fantasy.
- Multiplayer Online Battle Arena Games (MOBA): with games like League of Legends.
- Driving games: with games like F1.
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Best and Most Played Esports games in 2019:
League of Legends
Total prize money: $8,948,000
Most viewed tournament: League of Legends Worlds (3.9 million)
Total prize money: $64,338,000
Most viewed tournament: Fortnite World Cup (2.3 million)
Total prize money: $46,150,000
Most viewed tournament: The International (2 million)
Counter Strike: Global Offensive
Total prize money: $17,578,000
Most viewed tournament: IEM Katowice Major (1.2 million)
Biggest Esports Tournaments in 2020
- FLASHPOINT Season 1 Championship
- League of Legends World Championship
- Fortnite World Cup
- The International 10
- League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational
- Call of Duty League Championship
- ESL One
- Overwatch World Cup
- EVO 2020
- Hearthstone World Championship