E-Sports is represented in competitive gaming through competitions and major tournaments such as the ‘Pro-Am 2018′. As one of the fastest growing industries in the world, sources suggest E-Sports will generate a whopping $1.9bn this year; plus a further $269bn fuelled from betting and association by 2020. Given the rise in popularity and the potential sought after by the gaming industry and media outlets alike; we take a glimpse in to the booming trend and explore what E-Sports has in store.
Professional gaming; childhood dream come true?
It all starts with setting up and perusing the dream; streaming skills and hoping to ‘make it’ with the big guns, similar to any aspiring rookie athlete. What we know is the career choice is becoming increasingly enticing to millennials. Companies such as ‘The Singtel Group’ are recognising this, launching their regional e-championship to engage the new trend and its followers. Therefore, E-Sports is becoming a major business opportunity in the digital market; with both premier league clubs Manchester City and West Ham United having their own E-Sports teams. With opportunity comes potential, as platforms such as Twitch and YouTube reap the benefits of increased service traffic and massive revenue for professional gamers.
Just as athletes receive sponsorships and huge amounts of cash, pro-gamers can expect to receive similar benefits; through sponsors, prize money, merchendise sales, viewers/ followers, ad revenue and the potential fame that rises with stardom. Elite pro-gamers share the same light as celebrity superstars; with the two dimensions crossing causing a social media extravaganza. Professional Twitch streamer ‘Ninja’ teamed up with rapper ‘Drake’ in the popular game ‘Fortnite’. The event raked in 7m views on YouTube, with the content trending on social media in the days surrounding it. E-Sports endorses gamers with goods like keyboards, headsets, controllers and monitors of various brands; such as Razer, Alienware, Logitech and Asus, providing a valuable advertisement channel.
Is Facebook dealing the killing blow to rival platforms?
The media streaming experience is bolstered by the abundance of platforms available to share and indulge live content; including Twitch, YouTube and Valve. According to sources, joining late to the game, but determined to achieve a high score is newbie competitor Facebook. Facebook aims to lure broadcasters and viewers alike to its new feature ‘Facebook Gaming’ (fb.gg); a gaming destination designed to challenge Amazons Twitch and Google’s YouTube. To hit the ground running, Facebook launched a gaming creator programme responsible for Fortnite’s Pro-Am 2018 celebrity tournament, achieving great success. Prize pools exhibited this week by Epic Games in their ‘Fortnite Summer Tournament’ accumulate $8m in earnings across 8 weeks. Who can blame millennials for picking up a controller and having a go?
To effectively differentiate, the gaming hub was born. It includes a landing feature to organise searches, likes, follows and groups. Additionally, a destination feature filtering content creators, competitions and gaming industry events. Furthermore, accompanying Facebook at this years E3 conference was acclaimed pro-gamers Darkness429 and MissesMae; showcasing their gaming destination as well as live content demos of the new Oculus VR games.
The surge in E-Sports viewing popularity has seen events such as E3 being broadcast live on social’s via Twitch, YouTube and Facebook. Facebook is mounting the pressure on its rivals as ad potential increases with the rise in viewers. However, for Facebook to rake in the numbers enjoyed by its rivals it has a ways to go; shadowed by the ever growing concern on how the industry as a whole will protect gamers and combat match fixing.
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