eSports grew dramatically in 2020, despite the obvious challenges that were presented by the pandemic. Not many industries were fortunate enough to experience growth during the perplexing pandemic period. However, the domain of eSports managed to soar, and it is easy to understand why.
Never in the history of eSports has the industry had such a forceful presence in mainstream media, culture, and entertainment. There was so much growth experienced in 2020 that the industry is not going to slow down anytime soon. Bigger and better things lay ahead and the industry will want to do everything possible to explore and exploit said opportunities.
So what can we expect from eSports in 2021? Here are 5 things to expect in the New Year:
New titles and great events
The new year brings with it a wider range of options. Particularly, the first 2 months of the year are quite jam-packed with noteworthy events. One such noteworthy event is the comeback of Dota 2 events. The 2021 Dota Pro Circuit will introduce feature Regional Leagues in place of Minors for the first time.
Additionally, the Dota Circuit for 2021 will consist of 2 seasons each capped with a major. This means that bettors and participants should only expect 2 Dota 2 Majors this year. Even though there are fewer Majors than in previous years, there are still lots of great and entertaining things to look out for in the year.
For instance, the CSGO Major Championship is also another great event that fans have to look forward to after nearly a 2-year long absence. The upcoming CSGO Major Championship is scheduled to be one of the biggest and most prestigious installations yet as it will feature the heftiest prize pool in the history of the championship.
Of course, there is always the League of Legends World Championship that never disappoints. Each year, LOL keeps breaking its viewership records and this year will be no different. The LOL action is expected to start as early as February, which ought to start another amazing season. Basically, the eSports betting calendar in 2021 will have no shortage of hot events to wager on.
eSports continues expansion into 2021
As mentioned earlier, certain industries such as the hospitality and travel industry felt the crushing weight of the economic deterioration brought on by the contagion. Others such as online shopping and eSports were propelled forward with people increasing their spending significantly as a means of entertaining themselves at home.
According to analysts, video game spending shot through the roof by more than 22% from 2019, totaling approximately $44.5 billion by November of 2020. The pandemic not only upped spending on video games, but it also brought with it a wave of first-time gamers, thus expanding the market base further. As the vaccine continues to gradually become available, these numbers are expected to rise because it will be a while before life can fully return to normal as it was pre-pandemic.
Virtual reality will continue to dominate
VR remains a tantalizing prospect for the future of the eSports industry. As VR continues to evade most aspects of modern life, game publishers are showing a lot of interest in developing games for VR. Already, AAA publishers such as Ubisoft are already pushing resources towards VR with games such as Splinter Cell, Medal of Honor, and Assassin’s Creed.
And even though VR tech is still largely inaccessible to interested gamers as a result of the high price point, companies are willing to do whatever it takes to bring more gamers into the burgeoning VR ecosystem. For instance, Oculus Quest 2 is lowering the barrier and making sets more affordable. Other VR sets are expected to follow suit in 2021 giving gamers a wider array of affordable VR options.
5G has already provided a lot of buzz and excitement and 2021 is expected to be no different. As 5G provides increased opportunities for innovation, one of the industries that are expected to benefit greatly is eSports. 5G will not only improve download speeds and streaming capabilities exponentially, but it will also advance real-time gameplay experiences.
This boost in operations will in turn allow eSports games to bolster their skills without necessarily having to install new infrastructure. Not to mention, mobile eSports is also becoming a top choice for many gamers as more competitors view it as the norm as it regards modern entertainment. As developers, mostly those that have overlooked mobile as a possibility in the past, are now considering how the advancing mobile technology fits into their long term plans.
Brand investments will keep coming
With eSports support and viewership projected to grow by 700 million in 2021, brand sponsorships will become more valuable to brands and businesses looking to gain an edge in an increasingly crowded and competitive market. Big time sponsors such as Mercedes, Adidas, and Coca Cola have already invested heavily in eSports.
Given the positive results that these brands have experienced, brand investments will likely continue to become a priority in 2021. Gamers are some of the most highly sought after audiences because most are loyal to their poison of choice.
Esports is one of the most fun spectator sports available thus far and as it continues to gain popularity, more and more sponsors will continue to jump on the bandwagon. This year may also see more professional eSports players earn bigger salaries and collegiate scholarships.
The eSports landscape is transforming rapidly and the next coming years could prove the most vital for the future of the industry. As eSports viewership soars amid the pandemic, mobile devices are quickly becoming the norm. As such, businesses must do whatever it takes to take advantage of the blossoming sector.
This year also promised a slew of interesting tournaments for eSports lovers, competitors, and fans alike. As mobile eSports and tournaments surge in approval, the viewership and demographics will grow.
By the end of the year, there are expected to be more than 600 million eSports fans located in vario9us parts of the world. Indeed, as long as the innovations and advancements continue, the future promised endless possibilities.