During the 2010s, esports became a significant part of the gaming industry. Developers actively designed esports games and players started earning big money thanks to sponsorship deals. By the end of the 2010s, esports were attracting millions of viewers worldwide and receiving billions of dollars in income. With the increasing availability of streaming platforms on the internet and more people becoming enthusiastic about esports, the industry is sure to grow even more during the 2020s. Let’s take a closer look at how the world of esports is transforming gaming.
Esports Betting Is on the Rise
According to a study by Eilers & Krejcik, the total amount of money wagered on esports is due to hit an incredible $12.9 billion (USD) by the end of 2020. And seeing as land-based casinos have been struggling to keep their heads above water since online casinos became popular, it is no surprise to learn that many brick-and-mortar casinos are looking to esports tournaments. That is especially true in Las Vegas. The city’s casinos have been quick to include esports amongst its entertainments, and many of the biggest casinos on the Strip are opening specific esports casinos and special esports gaming arenas.
The world-famous casino Caesars was one of the first casinos in Vegas to open a specialised esports space. In 2017, its 48,000-square-foot studio was designed specifically for esports tournaments. In 2018, the site was the location of the first major esports league with the H1Z1 competitive gaming tournament. Though, it looks like MGM’s Luxor Las Vegas casino hotel is starting to lead the way in esports in Vegas now, with its 30,000-square-foot space at the HyperX Esports Arena. It has already hosted esports tournaments like the Capcom Cup and the League of Legends All-Star competition. If brick-and-mortar casinos continue heading in this direction, maybe soon you will only be able to play traditional casino games like roulette and poker at a live casino online.
The Evolution of Esports Branding
As esports grow, more and more people are starting to view the industry’s games as sports in the same way as real-world football or cricket. But one big difference between the two sporting worlds is esports teams do not have the same following as, say, Manchester United FC.
Teams in esports lack brand identity and countries are not yet behind esports teams in the way that they get behind their national football teams. Indeed, esports teams are often confusing in the messages they send out to fans. For instance, the winning team of the Overwatch League in London were called London Spitfire. Although the team has a global fan base, none of the players from the team is from London, which makes the team name somewhat redundant. In the coming years, you can expect to see more brand awareness coming from esports teams so that they can resonate with fans more.
The Rise of New Formats
In addition to team branding, another growing trend in the world of esports is the desire to extend beyond the typical ways of watching games. At present, fans can view games live via an online channel, but there is an appetite for new formats for both shows and competitions, to bring more entertainment to those watching.
Esports may have the crowds and the fans, but they still do not create the same atmosphere that can be found at a sporting event like a boxing match. With new formats and more emphasis on the viewers, you can expect esports formats to evolve over the next decade and attract an even larger fanbase.