When Atari held the Space Invaders tournament in 1980, it would have been impossible to predict that it would pave the way for the rise of a gigantic industry that now sells out arenas and makes nearly billion of dollars in revenue. Video games have their way of over-achieving and venturing into unknown territories. The most recent example of this is seen in the explosive growth of competitive or professional gaming otherwise known as esports, over the last five years.
These virtual and live games assemble the best players in the world to compete against each other in popular games such as League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, DOTA 2, and many more.
According to the NJ Games, esports revenue is expected to reach $1.385 billion in 2021.
Esports leagues and tournaments take place all across the globe and are usually streamed, with prize pools often surpassing millions of dollars. While 8 million users watch on Twitch and other streaming sites like YouTube, thousands of spectators attend these events in person.
When Amazon purchased Twitch for $970 million in cash in 2014, it sent a strong statement to the live-streaming industry that esports is a legitimate source of entertainment and a market that creates inescapably substantial investment opportunities for any organization willing to be a part of the ecosystem.
Total worldwide esports audience size continues to skyrocket and it’s projected to reach at least 587 million by 2021. Viewership for top esports events like DOTA 2 – the international are on par with some of the world’s most significant sporting events. With no discrimination across gender, age or race, and no true athleticism required, esports provides a perfect opportunity for almost anyone across the world to participate and potentially earn a lot of money.
No one knows what the future will look like for the booming esports industry, but one thing is certain – it’s on the pace to become one of the biggest sports in the world. For further information regarding the future of the esports industry, read on the infographic below.