Esports is one of the fastest-growing forms of both entertainment and sportsbetting, and as a business, is expected to grow by a massive 18% between 2019 and 2023.
Why is that?
With a rise in the value of advertising in Esports, branding both within the game and around the most successful brands and lucrative mainstream crossovers such as the collaborations between Fortnite’s Battle Royale platform and the DJ Marshmello, TV programme Stranger Things and film franchise Star Wars to name just three, Esports is clearly big business.
For many years, media outlets argued that Esports had to many hurdles in its way. From the lengthy lead-time in creating famous players to a limited and finite audience to bickering over media and image rights to the perennial argument that video games can be harmful, Esports has achieved its success against a backdrop of doubt.
With staying in very much the new going out, Esports may finally step out of the shadows and into the light of true public awareness on a massive global scale.
With an explosion in revenue from the Esports industry confirmed by Casino.org recently, sportsbetting has become a key touchstone for Esports profits, with $13 billion expected to be staked on Esports in 2020 alone. That figure would mark a huge increase of 134% from 2016 to the current day, and from 2019 to 2023, the figure is expected to increase hugely again.
More and more families have and are looking at a new console system in their home. With new platform launches no doubt slightly delayed by recent events in the wider world, Esports are nevertheless going to be more resilient than many other industries in the days immediately following the Coronavirus outbreak.
Online gaming is enjoying its hour in the sun, and while servers still need to be maintained by many hands around the world, the money coming into Esports from gamers, sportsbettors, advertisers and sponsorship is going to grow a lot in the months and years to come.
Taking just Xbox and PlayStation as two consoles with huge value in the marketplace, the progression from Xbox to Xbox One hasn’t harmed consumer interest, but moreover grown it. PlayStations 4 Pro and XboxOne display graphics that are pin sharp, with players on Fortnite able to watch the grass blow in the fields in-game if they want to.
The last year has been a huge year for the development of games, both new ones and the regulars we already loved that have grown in popularity exponentially.
In the last 12 months alone, games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2 and Fortnite have all enjoyed bumper years for sign-ups and brand partnerships or business growth, or both. While Apex Legends looked to be a threat to Fortnite at one point – at least in the minds of some observers – the popularity of the former has taken nothing away from the former. Both games continue to acquire new players, while happily satisfying the ones who have already signed up.
With the Fortnite World Cup taking place in the summer of 2020 as things stand, the popularity of the event will surely see Esports in general go from strength to strength, as long as live events eventually go ahead. Other games such as League of Legends and Dota 2 will see events such as The International possibly rescheduled due to recent events, but they will survive any financial hit – they are bulletproof, unlike the characters in the games themselves.
With the most-watched Esports event of all time to date being last year’s League of Legends World Championship and the Fortnite World Cup rumoured to be expanding this year with more than Solos and Duos crowns offering top prizes of $3 million, what happens in 2020 is sure to show us exactly how much Esports is growing and how much money we can expect to flow through sites such as Bet 365, Betway, Sky Bet and William hill, all of whom offer comprehensive Esports betting markets as things stand.
The next 12 months will prove how resilient Esports is in the business sector, which can only have a positive effect on the commercial appeal of gaming in the online world.