Many people only heard briefly about Esports and have no definition present. Others aren’t even that far and have no abstract notion at all of what it means. If you’re here, it’s quite unlikely that you’re that much in the dark.
However… It’s always good to give it a definition, so we’re all on the same ground!
What is it?
First things first: what are Esports?
Electronic Sports is a form of competition using Video Games as a medium.
In other words, we’re talking about a multiplayer video game played competitively, typically by professional gamers. And don’t forget, there’s usually an audience, however, it can be live, stream, televised, or all of the above!
And it’s becoming big. How big? Let’s take a look, shall we?…
Perception of Sports and Entertainment
Esports gets its kickoff in the year of 1972 , and up to 1989 gets solidified.
The first-ever video game competition took place at Stanford University in 1972. It consisted of five students competing in an “Intergalactic Spacewar Olympics’’. The winner received a year’s subscription for Rolling Stone! Careful now, big boy awards! Don’t go crazy on this one!
In the meantime, a lot has changed!
Long gone are the times of Video Games being an underdog hobby for Nerds. You may have heard that the Video Game industry surpassed the Cinema industry a while ago. This is indeed impressive, but it might sound like old news. What is new is that of now, the Gaming Industry is bigger than the Cinema and Music Industries combined! Now that sounds like big, huge potatoes!
Traditionally, Sports was all about seeing buff guys running on the green field, and entertainment used to mean looking at Bruce Willis blasting bullets on the silver screen. Today, this paradigm is changing, and more and more people see the excitement of watching your favourite Esports athletes blasting their own bullets on some much smaller screens!
This also signifies that the skill associated with performing well at a Video Game is shifting in its perception of value. It is becoming more normalised to accept that having the skill set to ace a video game is more than just a waste of time. It is, indeed, a Skills Set and a merit worth recognizing and incentivizing.
The biggest growth of Esports comes in 2012 when the world started paying more and more attention with series such as Call of Duty and Counter Strike making waves , and as a consequence, news and social media coverage on it more than doubled. And naturally, if the Media is talking about it, more people will find out about it and pay closer attention! This is, however, one of many spikes of growth, another one can be verified in 2015.
But there isn’t indication of a degrowth, the Gaming industry is currently at 200M in sales, and it is predicted that the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) in 2024 for Esports enthusiasts from 2019 to 2024 will be approximately 7.7%, with an estimation of occasional viewers growth to 291.6 million. And that there will be 285.7 million Esports enthusiasts, making the total audience 577.2 million.
With numbers like this, no wonder there’s plenty of space for exciting innovations on the horizon.
Did you get hungry for these and more Gaming Industry numbers? Our sources are all at your hand here.
Esports are growing across the globe. This means that more mature markets like North America and Western Europe are continuing to grow. However,there are new players in the game, over the last year, with audience numbers being most affected by growth markets in places like the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. In addition, increased use of mobile for streaming has driven demand in markets like India and Brazil.
Developing countries and Esports: growing economies
Now, it is worth addressing the last paragraph above, about the markets that developed globally in Esports, and taking a closer look at why some parts of the world have suddenly taken an interest in Esports. So let us do just that.
With the democratisation of better internet connections on a worldwide scale, as well as the advance of smartphone technology, the doors to professional gaming just keep on slamming open.
With e-gaming becoming accessible to any and all gamers no matter location, demographic or socioeconomic status, it means it will expand beyond geographical barriers.
Social component and sense of community: covid times
Well, so maybe it’s worth mentioning that our lives changed just slightly a LOT in 2020. With COVID-19 hitting the entire Globe, all of us needed to rethink what we thought of as work, free time, and socialisation. And although this affected different cultures in different manners, nobody was immune to changes, and big ones.
One of the main reasons Esports got so popular is that it didn’t just take something that already existed and turn it into something new. It has also added to the appeal of sports and competition by combining a social component into it. A brand new layer.
It has become more and more common to socialise with friends online or to meet new people in this medium. While social media was at the forefront of this trend, there has been an increasing appetite for people to find independent forums where they can meet like-minded people.
Esports provides the opportunity for online community building as there are more servers and chat opportunities for most streams and events. Spectators don’t only get to share their appreciation together; they also get to feel more connected to the players to a much higher level than live sports events! Well… minus the stadium snacks!
Esports and The Blockchain
Blockchain and Gaming might have more similarities than it seems. Both being technologies met with resistance upon its appearance, the main difference is the timeframe of their emergence.
If you’re having a hard time seeing the similarities between these two fields, we’ll hand you one more example. Upon thinking of these highly online fields, consider how much they exist and rely on strong online communities, and at the same time as they rely on them, solidify them at the same time. Do you see the similarities now?
Furthermore, to understand the role the Blockchain is to play in the Gaming Industry at large and in Esports in specific, it’s important to understand that technology is by nature fast and unpredictable, as such, in this field, industries can grow out of nothing in the blink of an eye if the stars are aligned. It’s also important to understand that nich industries to understand that niche industries can align interests, become complementary, and even eventually merge into one.
I mean, try telling Alexander Graham Bell and Louis Daguerre that the telephone and photography would eventually become one technology and they would have laughed at you pretty damn hard!
In time, it will become more common practice for game designers to integrate crypto into video games; this will become more and more a lingua franca. How and why so? Let’s address it.
The Esports industry, specially the small agents, is mostly funded by either crowdfunding or small subscription fees that help raise money for tournament events. The Blockchain technology and Cryptocurrencies will make it easier and safer to raise this money. With localised tokens that are generated by the games themselves, or by large pools of games.
What does this mean in practice? Well, for starters, paying international players becomes a lot easier, especially as gamers from nations that are outside of the modern financial system loop can get paid without having to open a banking account and navigate a convoluted and complex system of today’s traditional centralised finances.
Future: What’s coming?
New technologies have always brought up new exciting possibilities, and although Esports isn’t a new phenomena, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency isn’t exactly new, and by this time, not even NFTs are raising eyebrows anymore. But the possibilities that they bring when combined and articulated, those are most certainly far from being completely explored.
The marriage of video games and crypto should leave us alert for technological, social and economical developments. It will offer brand new opportunities and livelihoods and create a lot of new dynamics.
Speaking of new dynamics, do you remember how Exeedme hosted the Revolution Tournament and how it used Blockchain to improve the fundraising, payments and fan engagement of Esports? No? Let us refresh your mind!
Whatever new advancements come in the technological fields, there are certainly a lot of them coming that we cannot imagine, and much more crazy and fun than any science fiction movie out there.
And we are here, on the edge of our seats, waiting to see how we can turn them into a better and more fun life, and hopefully, channel them into our passion into Video Games!