Industry Growth Shows No Sign of Slowdown
There’s plenty of debate online about whether eSports should actually be called a sport at all, but whatever your position on it, competitive video gaming and the betting associated with it are both growing, and fast. A recent Business Insider article on the subject predicted that revenue from betting, sponsoring and advertising could reach $800m by 2019, almost doubling the size of the money generated by the burgeoning industry when compared with the figures for 2017. That is an explosive growth by any standards, and with sites as esportbets.se springing up all over the web, the growth is clearly organic and driven by eSports enthusiasts. That is a healthy indicator of a non-commercially driven, short-lived fad, but of something that is here to stay at the behest of the global eSports community.
So, will eSports continue to grow? Let’s first take a look at what eSports really mean, and how the industry has grown over the past few years.
What Exactly are eSports?
Many people feel that the term ‘eSports’ is a bit of a misnomer, since no actual physical movement is involved (apart from the thumbs) in most cases. eSports, broadly defined, involves competitive video gaming on games like Halo, Call of Duty, and Street Fighter, with both solo players and entire teams battling it out for dominance in leagues and tournaments.
A lot of eSports activity takes place from home, but things have grown so much in recent years that there are now actual eSports tournaments held in physical locations around the world. Some serious cash prizes are up for grabs, and unsurprisingly, a huge betting market has sprung up around eSports.
To put it simply, eSports is any form of organized, competitive video gaming…and it’s growing rapidly.
How Much Has eSports Grown and How Much Will it Grow by in the Coming Years?
While nobody has a crystal ball which can predict the future perfectly, we can look at past and present trends to make some reasonable predictions about where eSports might end up within the next few years.
According to NewZoo, a market intelligence firm with its finger on the pulse of the eSports industry, the total number of people participating in eSports as players, spectators, and bettors, was around 235 million in 2015. That mushroomed to 385 million in 2017, showing well over 50% growth. As far as revenue goes, the industry generated $325 million in 2015, and a whopping $696 million in 2017, effectively doubling in two years and indicating exponential growth in eSports financials. If these trends are anything to go by, the next few years look very bright indeed.
What could drive the growth going forward? A few factors spring to mind.
First, more and more people are coming online every year, and it stands to reason that a certain number of them will be interested in eSports. Roughly 3 billion people are yet to come online in the coming years, increasing the pool of potential eSports enthusiasts dramatically.
With projects like OneWeb edging closer by the day, the speed at which these people come online will only increase. The ever increasing affordability of laptops and devices capable of bringing potential participants online will also drive this growth. Increased demand is one of the fundamentals of growth in any industry, eSports included.
Second, technological advancements like the rise of virtual reality will only make eSports more enjoyable, realistic, and competitive. As the prospect of living out a real-to-life shoot ‘em up tournament grows closer by the day, so will the number of people interested in participating in eSports. Lastly, as the prize pools continue to increase, and more and more gambling sites adopt eSports betting, the number of people getting involved for sheer financial gain will increase. There are few incentives greater than money in the pocket, and as the number of ways to profit from eSports continues to grow, so too will the number of people who want to get involved.
Of course, it is impossible to pinpoint an exact figure on how much the industry will be worth in the future, but going back to NewZoo’s data again, the figure is estimated to be well over $1 billion and close to 600 million people involved by 2020.
If there is an industry to get involved in, eSports would be it. 2018 looks very bright indeed, and we can safely say that betting on eSports will not just grow, it will skyrocket in the coming year and those that follow it.