It all started in 1972 when students from Stanford University competed on a space combat video game developed in 1962 called SpaceWar! The grand prize was year-long subscription of the Rolling Stones magazine.
Today, eSports’ grand prize can go up to USD $100 million. eSports revenue topped USD $696 million in 2017 and is expected to increase up to 32% by year 2020. With this kind of number, it is no wonder that eSports has become a disruptive force in the entertainment industry, comparable to the unsettling power of streaming services offered by Amazon and Netflix. eSport is positioned to shape the gaming, streaming, and entertainment industry.
Diversity of games
eSports join other major genres of gaming like MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena). It is respected as the top dog of the industry mainly because it requires more than just quick keyboard and mouse movements but a whole lot of strategy and teamwork. Many eSports tournaments are being held, pushed by different industry players. Developers are boosting eSports activities for a number of competitive gaming. This will likely result to a new genre of games in eSports tournament. The more diverse the choices for games, the more players and stakeholders can participate.
Tournaments on the next level
eSports is still in its most active evolution stage. Meaning it will still continue to widen its scope and offer a multitude of opportunities for media and entertainment companies. With the strong need for digitalization and online presence, these companies are likely to join the hype. In 2018, we see the inclusion of three new franchise leagues namely NBA 2k League, North American League of Legends Championship Series, and the Overwatch League. Investors can buy team slots and territorial rights for as much as USD $20 million. These funds will be used for pay, benefits, and training facilities for players and employees involved in the tournaments. The franchising phenomenon will be the major catalyst for eSports toevolve into a true industry. In no time, eSports will be as big as the whole physical sports industry.
Video Game Streaming
eSports is still considered to be in its infancy, and the promise of financial stability is still a few years away. The viewership number is already astounding, however. It is nearly comparable to the viewership of professional sports and the transition of newspaper readers to online news consumers. The 2017 Intel Extreme Master Katowice, held in Poland, was considered the most watched eSports event. It gathered over 46 million unique viewers. There is a pronounced potential to monetize this viewership and make a cash flow model to generate from this stream.
eSports has opened the opportunity to turn virtually anyone into a potential player, broadcaster, benefactor, streamer, and victor. Since gaming is free for all, eSports allows competitive inclusion for anyone who aspires to join the landscape. It’s no different than any other competitive gaming area, having a good strategy is essential. Apart from this, stakeholders can take the opportunity to offer exclusive subscription services for virtual and physical events. They can even make eSports ticketing to be as sophisticated as those of a concert, offering VIP and hospitality experience.
Regulations of Competitions (Ownership of Media)
Maybe not in the near future, but someday there will be a need to form a new committee for protocols and conventions. To keep up with the growth and development of this new “industry” there is a need for some regulations; an authority that will implement rules, impose violations, and prevent cheating. In addition, there are also the issues for media rights and ownership. Right now, it’s kind of like a free for all. There is a need to establish order to create a stable revenue, piracy guidelines, and copyright procedures.
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