How Esports Became One of the Fastest Growing Industries
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February 18, 2022

How Esports Became One of the Fastest Growing Industries

While the gaming industry has been around since Pong, the term esports wasn’t introduced until the 1990s and didn’t start gaining traction until the early 2000s. Despite being a niche subculture, it is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world.

Estimated to reach $1.62 billion by 2024, the esports industry has a long history, rising to contemporary prominence as one of the most-watched competitions in history.

The History of Esports

The origins of esports are disputed, but most experts point to SpaceWar as one of the first games that allowed players to compete against each other on separate computers.

In 1972, Atari held a tournament that gathered around 10 competitors from various schools and universities. At about the same time, in 1973, Stanford University ran one of its events; so did some students from Dartmouth College during their Spring Break in 1974.

This kind of collegiate competition continued throughout the 1970s and 1980s with Tic-Tac-Toe, Backgammon, Asteroids, and other games. With that said, competitive gaming was still pretty much an underground phenomenon until 1993 when Doom launched with its new multiplayer capabilities.

Doom

With Doom, competitive gaming became a whole lot more social than ever before, thanks to chat features like ladders or IPX networks. They allowed players to compare scores after every match with actual names attached to them.

When Quake came out four years later, networking technology had advanced enough to allow gamers to not only connect via chatrooms but play together as well. This innovation paved the way for many tournaments and leagues, including StarCraft in 1998 and then Counter-Strike in 1999.

The availability of new tools like GameRanger made competitions a lot easier to organize by 2000. Private servers made finding opponents or teammates easier than ever.

The Future of Esports

There is no doubt that esports is growing fast. Games such as League of Legends, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive have sold millions of copies, becoming increasingly lucrative for organizations to sponsor. Many well-known brands, including Coca-Cola and Red Bull, are beginning to invest heavily. For some, it is a given that esports will be bigger than baseball within a decade.

Esports’ Key Factors of Success

Athletes

Because an esports competition looks, feels, and sounds just like a real-world sporting event, more and more traditional sports enthusiasts want to check out what’s going on. These professional athletes serve as inspiration for amateur gamers and create fans out of people who wouldn’t have been interested otherwise.

Game Developers

Furthermore, game developers play a major role in shaping the future of esports. Big gaming studios have recognized early on that having their games involved in esports competitions could not only improve sales but also help them develop deeper relationships with their biggest supporters and consumers—the gamers themselves.

Twitch Esports

Image Credits to Twitch

As a result, they have made it easier than ever for players to connect and take part in tournaments from home via streaming platforms such as Twitch. Gaming publishers understand that spectator content is valuable for everyone: for spectators to enjoy, for streamers to produce, and ultimately for sponsors to support.

Investors

The main driving force behind every major esports trend has been clear: It’s about growing revenue streams. In fact, given how many new companies got into the field last year alone, no one should be surprised if viewership or prize pools break records again sometime soon. If you add up everything that depends on quality content to drive business success, then today’s explosive growth makes sense.

While growth in the esports industry has been positive, some factors may stunt its growth. Being lumped into a single category with traditional sports could slow down its continued success. People don’t watch soccer because they can wager on it; they watch soccer because they love football.

In short, while gambling revenues can help esports gain attention in the short term, they aren’t necessary for long-term viability. Despite efforts from a handful of high-profile broadcasters, including Turner Sports and ESPN, watching someone else play video games won’t replace watching Tom Brady pull off a miraculous fourth-quarter touchdown pass any time soon!

Esports Content

From streaming to teams, content is key for any growing industry. To make sure they’re on top of their game, they need to keep on creating a consistent stream of quality content. To be successful in esports content creation, knowledge of basic editing software is required.

Some pieces of video editing software, like Movavi, ShotCut, LWKs, or FXHome allow amateurs and beginners to create professional videos without expensive equipment. For those who are interested in pursuing a career as an esports content creator, these are good options to start with.

Trends in Esports Production

In 2018, it was estimated that over 380 million viewers watched competitive gaming each month. While viewership numbers have grown substantially over recent years, a lot of smaller events are often overlooked.

Producers and spectators alike agree that there is plenty of room for growth within esports production and live streaming. Many companies now utilize high-tech streaming equipment to bring audiences better quality audio and video, something other sports already take advantage of consistently.

Hi-Rez Studio

Image Credits to Hi-Rez Studio

Equipment options include 4K cameras, robotic camera rigs, drone cameras, and 360° camera setups. Streaming has also taken off in popularity; esports fans can now watch their favorite teams compete from anywhere with an internet connection. The versatility of today’s technology makes it easier than ever for any viewer to stream their favorite content—whether they’re watching from a computer screen or using VR headsets like Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.

It’s safe to say that live streaming will be one of the biggest trends in esports during 2019. As an increasing number of organizations discover how beneficial a 24/7 broadcast schedule can be, expect more games to increase their frequency as well as offer additional packages for consumers.

As more esports organizations continue exploring partnerships with networks, social media platforms, and third-party broadcasters in 2019, there will undoubtedly be even more tournament hours being produced throughout the next few years.

Sponsored article written by Esportz Network

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