Ten reasons why esports, the world of pro video gaming, is the future

The global audience for esports will hit the 600 million mark come 2020, according to research estimates.

Published: 19th May 2017 05:25 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th May 2017 05:26 PM   |  A+A-

(Photo | Reuters)

By Reuters

We explore why professional gaming is becoming a huge global player.

esports is on the rise, year on year becoming an increasing global player. We take a look at why esports is the future...

1. Popularity

Market research figures suggest that the global audience for esports will hit the 600 million mark come 2020. Now in 2017, it is just over half that mark at about 320m while last year it is estimated a total of 6 billion hours globally were spent watching esports – a 17% rise from the year before.

2. Money

Money talks and it’s a growing market in that regard. It is estimated that in three years time it will generate a staggering £1 billion in global revenue. Last year alone, it generated an estimated £400m.

3. Job prospects

Following on from that, the leading players can earn an impressive salary at the top of their game. There was a total of £76m in prize money last year with the prize for winning the de facto world championships £810,000, which was watched by seven million people in the US alone. A top player earns over £1m a year now.

Team BMK Gaming compete at Red Bull Team Brawl, in Santa Monica, USA on 19 November, 2016. (File Photo | Reuters/ Marv Watson/Red Bull Content Pool)

4. Big business getting involved

Amazon entered the esports frame in 2014 when it paid nearly $1 billion to buy the gaming video platform Twitch, and to effectively bring its 55 million unique users on board. Also, big sponsors are now getting involved, Gillette having this month announced it would be sponsoring the team EDward Gaming. Reports suggest come 2021, there will be a $1 billion ad spend in the global E-Sports industry.

5. Sports teams getting involved

French football side Paris St-Germain, backed by Qatari billions, has earned a reputation for big-name signings but has entered the esports world with a team in the high-profile League of Legends. But the likes of Premier League clubs Manchester City and West Ham have also signed individual eSports specialists solely for playing Fifa.

6. Keeping fit

The old stereotype of gamers being couch potatoes has long since passed, the leading esports players following a tight fitness regimen to put themselves in the best possible condition to compete. Plus, gone for top gamers is the notion of a diet of junk food and barely sleeping playing games hours through the night.

Xpulser performs during Red Bull Player One in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 13, 2016. (File Photo | Reuters/Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool)

7. An Olympic bow?

There is much conjecture about whether esports counts as a sport in the traditional definition of the word but tellingly it has already appeared at the Winter X Games and in 2022 will be an official medal sport at the Asian Games. And there is even talk it could feature in some format at the Olympic Games in due course.

8. Team ethic

Gone is the premise that gaming is something done alone from the comfort of your home. The top players usually get to the top because of the teams with which they are involved, most notably in the League of Legends.

9. A new breed of athletes

It’s not the typical regimen of an elite sportsman or women but top esports professionals will, on the whole, follow a strict daily routine. Roughly speaking that would entail warming up alone for an hour, three hours of practice in the afternoon and another three in the evening before a warm down at home playing for another hour. Their reaction times are incredible – more than 300 actions per minute while multi-tasking with strategy.

10. The internet

esports is incredibly accessible with a newer, younger audience – aged between 20 and 35 on the whole - generally doing away with mainstream television. The internet has opened the way for esports from live gaming to the litany of esports clips watched by millions.

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