Even though esports are now hugely popular, there is still plenty of scope for massive growth within the industry.
A report from the World Economic Forum projects esports’ total revenues will increase from $906 million in 2018 up to $1.650 billion by 2021. China, North American, and South Korea will generate most of that growth.
Moreover, zooming out, we can see the positive monetary effects esports are having on the many different adjacent industries and markets. Let’s look at gambling, for starters.
The growth of esports betting
Just a few years ago, betting on esports would have been almost unthinkable. Most punters would’ve needed a reminder of what esports even are.
In the early days of esports betting, most companies focused only on the very top esports events. You’d be lucky to have one or two tournaments per week available to bet on even at leading bookmaking sites. Furthermore, the markets available for these events would generally be the simplest ones — Outright Winner and so on.
Then, just as the esports industry underwent rapid development, the esports betting industry has blossomed and diversified. Now, you can log into most top bookmaking sites and find an extensive esports section. Some sites even have esports-specific offers and sign-up deals available.
There has also been a huge increase in the number of esports tournaments available for bets. It’s no longer just the Premier or Major events but also minor events from all around the world. The number of betting categories has, of course, expanded as well.
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Many online sportsbooks now offer live streaming of esports as well as In-Play Betting.
Other key sectors growing due to esports
It is not just esports betting that owes its rude health to the burgeoning esports industry. There are myriad other areas where the growth of esports has led to an explosion:
- Technology companies – The boom has been particularly good for those that provide the key hardware components for esports, such as headsets, keyboards, computers, monitors, graphics cards, and controllers.
- Software development – The companies that design the top esports games, such as Rage and Blizzard, are now among the wealthiest game developers ever.
- Online streaming services – Online streaming services such as Twitch TV have a symbiotic relationship with esports.
- Professional gamers – There was a time when being paid to play computer games was just a pipedream for millions of gamers. Now, more players turn pro than ever, across a wide variety of titles.
- Support and representation – These agents and attorneys assist esports players to ensure their contracts are fair and equitable.
- Live streamers and vloggers – The YouTube generation has seen live streamers and vloggers, many focused on esports and gaming, become some of the most-watched online stars of the age. They’re monetizing their YouTube channels and making healthy livings doing it.
- Casters, shouters, and tournament organizers – Esports have created new career opportunities left and right for those interested in the marketing and structural side of the industry’s many products and tournaments.
There is absolutely no doubt the success of esports has had a trickle-down effect into many other business sectors. With gaming now more popular than ever, the esports industry is a fine example of how the world economy is diversifying around new forms of entertainment and competition.