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The changes are inevitable in any sphere of life, whether they start with a simple decision of an average individual, or are imposed by other factors. The same applies to the entertainment industry, which is constantly evolving and is influenced by emerging technologies and the availability of new forms of media. The part of the entertainment industry that has most recently been capturing the hearts of enthusiastic audiences all over the years, is competitive video gaming, known as esports.
Thanks to its wide and growing audience and quality tournaments, esports is challenging traditional sports and other forms of media in popularity and attention. Hence, if you keep reading through the article, you will be able to understand the growth of the esports industry, its impact on the entertainment industry, but also the enormous business potential this industry holds.
What is electronic sport?
Electronic sport, better known as esports, is nothing more but competitive video gaming set in the online world. The participants, teams, or individuals, are competing against each other in different games, in front of audiences who make online viewers. Among the most popular games at the moment are famous Fortnite, Dota, and League of Legends, and what has brought to their popularity is the fact that they can be played on a variety of consoles, from computers to smartphones.
Although it has been only recently that esports has grown in popularity, it has been around for more than 40 years, precisely from 1970. Today, it is a multi-billion dollar industry that continues to break records, due to the fact that it has embraced the growth of the internet and technological advancements.
How Does It Affect Entertainment Industry
The value of esports for the entertainment business has grown significantly, as its popularity attracts many actors both online and in person. The perfect example was in 2019, when the world championship of the League of Legends reached over 100 million unique viewers, making it one of the most-watched events in the world. The huge success has captured the attention of major sponsors bringing in a great deal but has also led to more media coverage.
The fact that traditional sports networks such as ESPN and Fox Sports are starting to broadcast esports makes it pretty much a mainstream form of entertainment. Furthermore, streaming services like Twitch and YouTube gaming are just some of the numerous popular destinations to watch and interact with other fans. While on platforms such as 22esport, fans can catch up with live results, have insight into upcoming games, and read blog posts on the most popular topics in esports at the moment.
The numbers speak for themself, and the information that in 2020 the League of Legends World Championship finals had more viewers than the Super Bowl, with over 3.8 million viewers, says a lot about the esports impact on traditional sports. That being said, along with the wide internet access as well as technological improvements, this trend is expected to grow even bigger in the future, which is going to bring in more players and even more viewers.
The Business Opportunities in Esports
It can be said that esports has become a major and opulent business. During the year, this business achieves revenue of billions of dollars, and the main source of it comes from different sponsorships, prize money, and advertisements. The esports market is anticipated to reach $1.62 billion by 2024, following the success of previous years.
Just like in any other form of the entertainment industry, sponsorship deals make a significant source of income. The business potential was recognized by some major companies such as Coca-Cola, Red Bull, Nike, and Samsung, who are investing in competitions, teams, and players. Advertising revenue is another growing source of income, due to corporations’ attempt to attract younger audiences who are more likely to be interested in esports.
Another factor that plays a huge role in the esports business is prize money. The money prizes in esports events are reaching insanely high numbers, with top players and teams winning millions of dollars each year. For example, back in 2020, the International Dota 2 Championship had a prize award of over $40 million.
What Does The Future Hold?
Esports’ future is both exciting and uncertain. With all the upcoming advancements in technology, especially augmented and virtual reality, players will be able to experience more immersive and engaging games. The developers are also expected to play a big role here, by producing new, interesting games, tailored for competitive play. Accordingly, this will lead to new partnerships and collaborations. It will continue to challenge traditional sports, with all of the factors working in the favor of esports.
All things considered, esports is taking over the entertainment sector, and its impact, although already high, will become more visible in the next few years. With the significant expansion of its players and fan base, the entering of big sponsors, and general industry potential, esports is poised to become one of the leading forms of entertainment in the world. One thing is for sure, it will be an exciting journey to see how esports develops and how it continues its domination within and transformation of the entertainment industry.
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