ESports. My generation, I’m talking those born in the late 80s early 90s, I dare say mostly grew up watching sports, we all loved football, rugby, watching the athletics, in particular the olympics was always a huge thing in my house. When we got satellite TV my dad would watch LITERALLY anything and you know, I was never bothered! I loved it.
Watching athletes at the top of the game, performing at the highest level in fierce competition was thrilling, even watching things like darts or snooker, it’s insane to be able to admire someone who is just THAT good at, well, anything. My generation
ALSO grew up playing video games, of course video games were a thing well before my time as was competing in video games however, they became affordable to the masses at some point just before I was born. When you combine a generation that grew up with access to an unimaginable amount of competitive sports to watch and access to video games in their homes, what do you get? You know it, eSports.
When I was younger, before the inception of online multiplayer, I used to love thrashing it out on Tekken and FIFA with my brother, playing head to head was always so much fun. We argued, we threw hands and, I suppose more expensively, threw controllers. But damn was it good. This competitive kick is what has spurred my generation and then, as a result, their children to push into competitive gaming, going full send on it.
So much so that it was projected that the global revenue generated byu eSports would grow to around $1.1BILLION by this year, pushing on to $1.2BILLION by 2023 (Figures from strivesponsorship.com) and while those figures were probably as close to being right as they could be at the time of writing their article, we had a global pandemic this year. That pandemic halted almost all sports across the world.
That’s not to say it didn’t affect eSports too, it did. LAN events were basically cancelled everywhere as were gaming conventions such as E3 and Dreamhack. But while physical sports couldn’t carry on due to the contact, eSports continued. Many online tournaments replaced the LANs in their respective schedules, plenty of BIG TV companies such as ESPN and the BBC picked up eSports in place of their regular viewing, helping to grow an audience that was already flying higher and higher with every passing day.
So what does that mean? Well, with everything that has as rapid a rate of growth as this does, there is money to be made. With all these big competitions, there are prize pools meaning there’s potential for players to actually make a living off playing now, some eSports like DotA for example have crazy amounts of money up for grabs for the VERY best players, the most recent International had a total prize pool of $34.3MILLION, that’s insane! But where there is potential to make a living there’s potential for a company to be involved too.
While a lot of players only make money directly from winnings, there are those that are lucky enough to be picked up by an organisation. Organisations like Team Dignitas, NatusVincere, Team Liquid, CounterLogicGaming, players who play for these big names are looked afte[AF1] r a lot, some of them are moved into team accommodation, a lot of them are paid actual salaries, while then earning a cut of any winnings earned.
There are still organisations surfacing all the time as people and companies realise there is money to be made in the ever growing world of eSports. Even footballers are getting involved, David Beckham recently acquired an eSports organisation, Guild eSports as did Casemiro, who currently still plays for Real Madrid, he picked up a CS:GO team he has dubbed CaseEsports. So there’s money to be made for players, organisations, companies who make peripherals as they seek to create the BEST tools for the job.
Companies that create supplements such as GFuel or Sneak energy, trying to create a healthy alternative to other brands that may be full of sugar and much less vitamins etc. But there’s also money to be made for us, the public. As with all competitive sports, there’s a market for you and me to make a little bit of money through betting, in recent years betting companies have begun picking up markets for eSports, not all of them are on board yet but they’re all making their way over to the light side.
Some of the big boys in the betting game like Bet365 and BetFair have been giving odds on CS:GO, FIFA and many more, of course betting isn’t for everyone and if it’s something you wanted to dabble in there are so many guides out there and so many sites to throw your money at and hope for the best, it can be confusing so I’d say be sure to use all the betting tools available and there are plenty of them around.
As a fan, mainly Rocket Leagues RLCS and CS:GO, I for one hope that eSports continues on its upward trajectory and who knows, given the fact my son is an avid Fortnite player he may end up being the next big name in eSports! What do you folks think? Have you hopped on the fast moving train that is eSports? Are you a purist who thinks eSports should be binned and they should focus on “real sports”?
You know we love to know what you guys think and remember, you can always get in touch over on Twitter @Stubat_ let’s talk eSports, it’s a good time for it seeing as the RLCS EU Winter Split has just started (12/11/2020)! EXCITING TIMES!!