If you thought gaming was only for those who had nothing to do with their life, you couldn’t be more wrong. Video games today aren’t the days of the Pac Man. It is serious business and one that could fetch you amazing rewards. In fact, gaming is increasingly being recognized as a professional sports in itself, and if reports are to be believed, the top athletes may not earn as the best gamers.
How is that possible?
Many among us dreamt of being a sport star and entering the rank of the legends. We know that some pro athletes earn in millions when we count in their endorsements and appearances in advertisements. Be it football or soccer- some of you reading this page dreamt of being athletes even if not for financial reasons.
But did you ever give a thought about video games?
The eSports industry which involves live broadcast of multiplayer live video game tournaments is fast catching up to traditional sports. According to reports, the industry is set to reach the value of US $1.4 billion by the year 2020- some even predict it to be $2.4 billion!
The Rise of eSport and Pro Video Gamers
Just like the pro athletes, the expert video gamers are earning quite a fortune these days. Take the example of Dota 2- the tournament awarded the top players to an amount of US $20 million- that’s quite a huge paycheck!
Even if we consider things on the lower scale, the annual arts and music festival NXNE in Toronto will award cash prizes up to $1,000 for different video games- that is not bad either if you consider it as a day’s pay!
The increased pay for video gamers in not the only thing the rise of eSports has brought about. It has quite an effect on the audience and the sports entertainment scenario as well.
The most happening countries of eSports include South Korea and China where fans fight to get a ticket to watch live video game tournaments. Stadiums are always full packed- the League of Legends tournament in 2016 at Bird Nest stadium in China attracted 36 million viewers- exceeding the number of viewers of NBA Finals by 5 million!
This has attracted sponsors and advertisers who are competing to feature their brands in the eSports tournaments. We can name a few leading sponsors such as Samsung, Coca-cola, Red Bull and others who have already sponsored some of the eSport tournaments.
eSports and Gamers
Taking the cue from traditional sports, eSports has branched out to different business opportunities like merchandise, broadcast rights, ticket sales and subscription plans. The whole sports industry is going through a transformation for this reason. Take the example of FIFA- they have joined hands with Electronic Arts to conduct an online tournament that attracted 20 million gamers and 30 million in audience. We are encountering collaborations and synergies that we never thought of before!