To say that the esports industry is experiencing a boom would be an understatement. A couple of decades ago, competitive gaming was nothing more than an obscure hobby. Nowadays, thousands of gamers are earning their livelihoods by playing in esports tournaments and other gaming events. And they’re not doing too bad for themselves either. With esports salaries reaching six or even seven-digit numbers and tournament prize pools going all the way up to tens of millions of dollars, walking the path of an esports player is now seen as prestigious.
The esports industry growth isn’t dictated solely by players either.
As of the beginning of 2019, there are nine esports teams worth at least $100 million. And that number is only going to increase in the future. Esports is often regarded as the future of the entertainment industry, so many endemic and non-endemic brands are looking to invest their time and money into the growing scene. With that, esports industry veterans like Cloud9 and Team Liquid have the opportunity to work hand in hand with massive organizations like BMW and Marvel to deliver great products and unforgettable experiences to their fans.
Of course, brands don’t strike these partnerships out of the kindness of their hearts. There’s a lot of money in competitive gaming, as the esports industry worth is expected to hit $1.6 billion by 2021. And while most sponsorships are already quite profitable, they’ll provide an even greater return on investment if this esports industry analysis holds up.
This trend is further emphasized by the increased stability of the esports scene. Several years ago, most gaming titles followed a tournament circuit model, meaning that only the best esports teams and competitors could spend some time in the spotlight. Meanwhile, other teams and players were seen as stepping stones for their success, so every esports industry analysis would have to account for the risk of dealing with the swings and unpredictable nature of competition.
Times change, though, and competitive gaming is starting to shift towards the franchised league model. Competitions like the Overwatch Contenders and League of Legends European Championship grant permanent slots to their participants, creating a secure environment for investors and allowing gaming organizations to build long-term strategies for their brands. And while this model is fairly young, the recent growth of the esports industry has already proven its worth.
Still, is this too good to be true? The esports industry worth is increasing at such a rapid pace that there is a concern that the scene might be headed towards an esports bubble. At times like these, it’s important to remember that competitive gaming didn’t get to this point overnight. Some of the most prominent endemic organizations like TSM and Fnatic have been navigating the esports waters and ensuring their brands stay profitable for over a decade. And it’s fair to say that they plan to keep this momentum going for many years to come.
Granted, not every company has TSM’s or Fnatic’s experience. Which is exactly why it’s important to follow the esports industry growth news and see the future prospects of competitive gaming for yourself.