Hollywood portrays gamers as a bunch of nerds stuck behind a computer all day. The view is a throwback that becomes more outdated by the day. Esports is now a valid and popular spectator sport, and games are streamed live on sites like YouTube Gaming, Sbobet, and Twitch.
Today, the industry encompasses billions of players competing for views, fans, and some mind-boggling prizes. Forget the NBA superstar; gamers are fast becoming the most popular sports stars.
How Did Esports Develop?
The competitive gaming industry kicked off in the 1970s as Atari noted the increasing popularity of their game, Space Invaders. The company held the first Space Invaders tournament a couple of years later, and the rest is history.
It’s a logical progression. With easy access to gaming devices in the form of tablets and smartphones and the improvement of dedicated gaming platforms, it was only a matter of time. Who hasn’t whiled away an hour or three playing games on a smartphone?
Video games are no longer dull but an integral part of our society. Esports lovers are just as invested in the outcomes of games as traditional sports fans.
According to Statista*, the industry earned revenue of $776.4 million in 2018, a figure expected to more than double by 2023.
In the early days, gamers earned money by winning contests. Today, prize money is only one revenue source, and everyone’s getting in on the action.
Players Earn Money Through:
. Prize Money:
The competition in the gaming industry is fierce, but the prize money is often substantial. Game prizes range from a few hundred dollars to millions of dollars. The last team standing in the International Dota 2 Championship will earn more than $15,000,000 in 2020, for example.
. Team Salaries:
Like in traditional sports, there are professional Esports teams. Players in these teams earn a salary.
Gamers make money by endorsing products.
Professional gamers might receive sponsorships for competition fees, training fees, and living expenses.
Streaming services allow gamers to earn a monthly subscription fee or donations from viewers.
Gamers today create brands and sell their own merchandise.
Developers Or Event Organizers Earn Money Through:
. Game sales:
The more popular the game, the better the revenue potential.
Merchandise includes items like t-shirts, action figures, and more.
Developers arrange events and sell tickets to these gatherings.
. Media Rights:
With the increasing popularity of the games, media rights to events become even more valuable.
Supporters Earn Money Through:
. Selling rare memorabilia:
The sale of collectables is a huge money-maker in this industry.
. Fantasy sports:
Supporters create leagues and “Dream Teams” of their own to earn prize money or bets in fantasy leagues.
The Future Of Esports
We’ve moved away from an era where video games are considered a waste of time. Research shows that gaming can be an effective way to de-stress and improve reaction times. There’s still a concern over the violent nature of some of the games, though.
Overall, esports is here to stay. We can expect to see it rise in prominence in the future and see the number of streaming sites increase substantially.
Sites like YouTube Gaming and Sbobet lead the charge, but these pioneers will make up only a small percentage of streaming sites as the industry takes flight.