Esports has a variety of benefits for students, including a global audience of 380 million viewers and an estimated $1.5 billion market. Esports is also an extracurricular activity that does not require physical travel and team meetings. Whether a student is averse to change or has physical limitations, esports can be the perfect choice. The games can be played virtually and are divided into two regular seasons and a playoff season. The playoff season consists of single elimination matches between the top teams and a final online tournament.
380 million people worldwide watch esports
According to a recent study, 380 million people will watch eSports events this year. Among those, 165 million are considered eSports enthusiasts. These people are predominantly based in North America, China, and South Korea. Besides watching eSports events, many eSports events will draw large crowds. These events are becoming more popular and attract a larger audience, even rivaling those of traditional professional sports.
The esports audience is made up of a diverse mix of people. The majority of fans are under 35 years old, and they skew male. That said, women make up 38% of the audience. Moreover, esports are just as popular among American male millennials as football or ice hockey. In fact, football is 2x as popular among men between the ages of 18 to 34 than esports.
$1.5 billion market
Esports is a rapidly growing industry. In addition to traditional sports like baseball, football and basketball, many video games are also becoming big money makers. Players can stream their games to earn money, or join bigger organizations to compete for large cash prizes. The industry has exploded in recent years, thanks to the popularity of esports and pop-culture. Esports events can draw thousands of spectators to watch their favorite players compete in tournaments.
Many well-known gaming and tech brands are stepping up their involvement in esports. Non-endemic and lifestyle brands are turning to esports for new marketing opportunities. Games publisher fees make up the largest portion of the industry, as game creators spend a significant amount of money to market and promote their products. However, this revenue stream will slow down in the next few years. The fastest growing revenue stream is content licensing. Content licenses will generate about $95 million this year, up eighty percent from 2016.
Authentic connection between players and viewers
The popularity of esports is explosive, creating new opportunities to connect and engage with the game’s culture. Not only do esports bring together players from different cultures and ages, they also build a community of fans. Some people travel long distances to watch a match, and they bond over their common fandom. Here are some strategies for building a more authentic connection between players and viewers in esports.
While traditional video games may exclude social interaction, multiplayer online games are vibrant community sites. This dynamic means that esports tournaments attract large numbers of viewers. This means that the sport has enormous potential as a business model for both players and companies. The potential for global expansion makes esports an attractive option for corporate sponsorship. Moreover, the growing popularity of esports has made it an appealing option for advertisers.
Using the school-to-pro pipeline for esports is not new. The San Francisco Shock signed Grant “moth” Espe, who was part of the Harrisburg University esports team. The NFL and NBA have also benefitted from this educational system subsidy. Esports has partnered with high schools and state associations. The collegiate level of the game is rapidly growing.
While the majority of college-level esports programs are club-based, a handful of colleges offer full scholarships to players. And some colleges are beginning to create varsity gaming and a Big Ten league. Developing collegiate esports talent is a vital part of launching a professional league. Ultimately, this means that the school-to-pro pipeline will become more important to the industry.