eSports are competitive video games and have been around for a long time. In recent years, however, the growth of eSports as a serious competition is really starting to take off. Massive tournaments all around the world are held for different video games and can attract millions of viewers, big sponsorships and even bigger prize money.
eSports are definitely growing in popularity, but can eSport events really challenge the dominance of traditional sports?
The Growth of the eSports Industry
In 2020, eSports revenue is projected to pass $1 billion for the first time, a fifteen per cent increase of the previous year. This revenue increase is thanks to more fans than ever tuning in to watch competitive video game events. There are now nearly five hundred eSports viewers in 2020, around half of which are regular viewers who watch one or more event per month.
Revenue in the industry comes from both consumers though merchandise and tickets and businesses through sponsorships, media rights and advertising. Right now,the majority of revenue comes from sponsorship, but the increase in viewers is expected to lead to larger media rights deals in the future.
Only a few years ago, traditional sportsbooks would stay well away from eSports, but this is changing thanks to a shift in perceptions towards eSports events. As eSports become more mainstream and accepted worldwide, more sportsbooks than ever are starting to offer odds on eSport events.
These days, you can find loads of different betting options across multiple markets for big eSports tournaments. As well as standard match and tournament outcome options there are scoreline bets, over/unders, first points scored and plenty of others.
This increase in betting options has led to more people taking the sport and eSports betting itself seriously. There are now loads of different markets on offer for each event and game. You can find tips and eSports picks, including CS:GO on tipster websites that will help you make more successful bets.
Challenging Traditional Sports
With the rapid growth of eSports, it’s no surprise to see that traditional sports are now starting to take it seriously. Plenty of big sports teams including the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona FC, have formed their own eSports teams.
Sporting organisations recognise the pull that eSports have over younger fans and want to get involved and reach younger generations. The NBA is currently developing its own 2k eLeague which will feature a team from each of the thirty NBA league teams.
While eSports may not be about to overtake regular sports in terms of revenue and viewership anytime soon, it’s clear that they’re having a bigger impact than ever. The International Olympic Committee has even spoken about the need for sporting organisations to study eSports and how they can be used to encourage younger generations to pick up and play sports. While they might still be a while off adding an event for eSports at the Olympics, the 2022 Asian Games will feature a medal event in eSports.