A Glimpse Into the Booming Esports Industry

Mar 21, 2022
4 min read

What is E-Sports?

In recent times we have come across the term E-sports a lot. But have we ever given it a careful thought of what it is? In today’s blog, let’s go through the ever-trending and dynamic world of E-sports.  Esports, a term sometimes also considered electronic sports or eSports, is a type of video game competition that has gained a lot of attention in recent times.

Esports usually organize multiplayer video game events between professional players, either individually or in teams. Tournaments have long been a feature of video game culture but were mostly between amateurs until the late 2000s. However, Esports has become a prominent part of the video game business by the 2010s, with many game makers actively creating and supporting tournaments and other events.

The Start: 2010

It is now getting a well-known fact that it is known that by the late 2010s, it was predicted that esports will have a total viewership of around 454 million people, with revenue exceeding $1 billion, with China accounting for 35% of global esports revenue in 2020. Unbelievable, right? Online streaming media platforms, notably YouTube and Twitch, have become increasingly important in the growth and marketing of esports tournaments. Female gamers have also participated professionally, despite the viewership being around 85 percent male and 15% female, with the bulk of spectators between the ages of 18 and 34. This matter definitely needs a round of applause.

In the meantime, Esports initially gained popularity and reputation in Asia, with considerable development in China and South Korea, the latter has licensed professional players since the 2000s. However, despite having a major video game industry, Japan's esports business is undeveloped than the above two mentioned nations, owing to the country's stringent anti-gambling regulations, which ban paid professional gaming competitions. Outside of Asia, esports is also popular in Europe and the Americas, with regional and international competitions taking place on both continents.

The Boom

The nature of EsNcports has changed as a result of COVID-19's emergence. The boundaries between eSports, live streaming, and even influencer marketing are becoming increasingly blurry. Viewership has spiked across all live streaming platforms as a result of the outbreak. During the lockdown, many were forced to spend time at home, so they turned to live streaming to pass the time. While the eSports industry encountered obstacles at this period, it also experienced significant growth and moved into regions where little activity had previously existed. Many in-person events were cancelled, and some international events had to be replaced with regional tournaments, causing the business to suffer. But, somewhere between the lines, the Esport industry has seen a boom with rising players and viewership.

The first Esports Arena, the United States' first specialised esports venue, opened in Santa Ana, California, in 2015. However, in 2021, China passed a law prohibiting adolescents from spending more than three hours per week playing video games, which they referred to as "spiritual opium." The rule has sparked fears about the future of esports in China, which is a big market.

Newzoo anticipates growth to continue until 2021, with an annual increase of 8.7%, resulting in a total eSports audience of 474.0 million, with 240.0 million occasional watchers and 234.0 million eSports fanatics. According to Newzoo, the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for eSports specialists from 2019 to 2024 would be at 7.7%. The number of occasional watchers is expected to rise to 291.6 million. There will also be 285.7 million eSports fans, bringing the total audience to 577.2 million.

Most Deserved Recognition

Many questions if Esport should be considered as a recognized game in Olympics? The Olympic Games we all know of are also being considered as a means of legitimizing esports. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) held a summit in October 2017 to acknowledge the growing popularity of esports, concluding that "competitive 'esports' could be considered a sporting activity. And the players involved in such Esports prepare and train with an intensity that may be comparable to athletes in traditional sports," but that any games used in the Olympics must adhere to "the Olympic movement's rules and regulations." According to Andy Stout's post, the 2017 Worlds Esports tournament was watched by 106 million people. According to IOC President Thomas Bach, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is concerned about violent games and the lack of a worldwide regulating authority for esports.

The IOC reiterated at its Eighth Olympic Summit in December 2019 that it would only consider sports-simulating games for any official Olympic event. However, in the future, it would consider two paths for such games: those that promoted good physical and mental health lifestyles and virtual reality and augmented reality games that included physical activity. Furthermore, the Olympic Council of Asia stated in September 2021 that eight esports games would make their formal debut as medal sports at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

Live Streaming & Awareness

Have you ever live-streamed any Esport game without knowing it was Esport? The total number of people watching game live streams in 2019 and 2020 was 593.2 million and 662.7 million, respectively. Increased time spent at home and social distance required during the pandemic contributed to the 11.7 percent rise by 2020. According to Newzoo, by 2021, the number of watchers will have increased by 10% to 728.8 million. They estimate that the worldwide game live streaming viewership will reach 830.3 million by 2024, representing a 9.2% CAGR from 2019 to 2024. China has eventually reached the point where it is a mature market. Newzoo, on the other hand, expects that the number of people watching live game streams will increase from 185.5 million in 2020 to 214.3 million in 2024. They also foresee double-digit growth rates in several emerging nations, with CAGRs of 14.0 percent in Latin America, 15.1 percent in the Middle East and Africa, 14.8 percent in Central and Southern Asia, and 14.8 percent in Southeast Asia projected through 2024.

One of the main things about the increase in eSports viewership is that more people are becoming aware of the sport, and yes it is not just a myth but the truth. Since 2015, there has been a great rise in public awareness of the eSports business. There were somewhat more than 800,000 persons who knew about it at the time. These figures shifted quickly, and by the following year, over a billion people had heard about eSports. Are you one of them? If not, then after going through this blog you definitely are!