The Sudden Rise Of E-Sports
While basketball remains deflated, stadiums are empty and the Internet is full of players. The big leagues are still trying to look at things from a long-term perspective, but the crossovers with E-sports are already taking place. NASCAR has already embraced the sport as an adaptation to the sport, and many other organizations are trying to emulate it. Time will tell whether our current cultural pause is really over.
This trend tells us that the fan base has a significant audience element. Given the exponential rise in viewership on platforms like Twitch, it shatters the preconceived notion that popularity paradigms are driven by hardcore gamers. eSports is becoming entertainment for everyone, not just players.
The construction and conversion of sports facilities are difficult, but entrepreneurial and innovative operators see this as an opportunity to reach an underserved segment. The late Dr. Clayton Christensen described this phenomenon in his seminal book The Innovators Dilemma. He theorized that disruptive ideas serve underserved segments, which in turn grow to dominate the market.
Newzoo predicts an annual growth rate of 10.4% by 2023. There will be 29.5 million sports fans, which corresponds to a total audience of 64.6 million. The company also expects the number of casual viewers to rise to 35.1 million.
As the public health crisis is in full swing, we see athletes and celebrities crammed into their living rooms to watch video games like NBA 2K20 and FIFA 20. According to the LA Times, eight million people sign up to take part every day. In the US, it feels like an alien underground culture.
This increase is not limited to dedicated sports fans, as there appears to be an increase in people watching sports online. This is because awareness of sport has increased and access to the Internet has become easier. Viewer platforms such as Twitch and YouTube are seeing growth in their users. This was a factor that contributed to audience growth.
There are already more than 800,000 people who have heard about it. This number will continue to rise by several hundred thousand in the coming years. But that number will change next year when more than a billion people will know about it.
Players no longer needed to find friends in arcades to fight their opponents on the other side of the world or in houses on the street. As hardware progressed, connections improved, developers allowed players to talk to each other, and online gaming began to boom. This boom laid the groundwork for one of gambling’s greatest advantages: the demand for competition and interaction. As the technology caught up, it also attracted demand for viewers. By 1993 Netrek was attracting 5,000 players a day.
It was a vehicle to launch new games like Super Mario Bros. 3. With the growth of the Internet enabling more connections around the world, gaming was an inevitable addition. However, the world changed in 1988 when Netrek, the first team-based Internet game, Internet Game was introduced.
There is a cafe named PC Bang in Seoul. It’s a E-sports gaming cafe and at 9 pm it’s packed. Hundreds of computer screens are occupied. Most people play something as complex as League of Legends, but there are also simple shoot-em-ups like Counter-Strike and others that play FIFA. Many of the young people here play late into the night.
One day in 2015, Dan Kaufman walked into ESPN The Magazine editor-in-chief Chad Millman’s office and saw the names of several coverage areas scrawled around on a whiteboard. Among them: daily fantasy sports, gambling, and sports.
Kaufman, who at the time was deputy editor-in-chief of ESPN Insiders, the website’s premium content offering, was asked to be in charge of sports. He oversaw fantasy sports, gambling, and sports as a new venture. A few weeks later, Millman called Kaufman to tell him that the coverage of the sporting events would be his. “Nobody asked me to do it, but I wanted to do it,” Kaufman recalled.
The e-sports community is not just about shooter games; some games encourage other types of violence that the IOC has warned are incompatible with Olympic values, Fortune reported last year. Individual sports also offer online versions, in some cases competing with athletes who are actually competing. For example, World of Sailing has offered a version of its sailing competitions online. The company has provided virtual regattas that take players to some of the most famous regattas in the world, including America’s Cup, and has outlets around the world.
Another reason for the success of e-sports is the prize pools awarded to the winners of the competitions. An example of a prize pool in excess of a million dollars per game is the StarCraft II World Championship (WSC) and the League of Legends Championship (LCS).
Some colleges attract the best students for the competition. Others, at the other end of the spectrum, treat sports teams like clubs and offer minimal support. Still, others get their own computer game systems to practice and compete in a computer lab, a tiny room in an underused part of the building.