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The Impressive Rise of eSports

Published on: 01 November 2021
The Impressive Rise of eSports

Throughout its history, human beings have been in a lot of situations that have favored the fact of competing: from the beginning, we have faced other beings to achieve a goal, be it food, shelter, or any essential element to survival.

It is this competitive “gene” that was etched in us forever that subsequently gave way to the creation of sports; physical activities where several participants had to perform a task to achieve a victory, something significant and emblematic.

Over the years, the practice of these activities became increasingly complex, and organized competitions evolved to the point of becoming a phenomenon, something almost essential for today's society.

However, in recent years things have changed and the generation of technology has managed to extrapolate its maximum exponent to sports competitions, now we can not only practice them, it is also common to see them, follow them and even bet on them online, from our home. The evolution of sports and followers is impressive.

What are eSports?

The eSports are clashes between various rivals aiming to overcome among them in order to win, like any sport, the big difference is that absolutely everything unfolds in the world of video games.

Perhaps those who are less informed may think that these types of events have little impact or are followed by only a handful of people ... Wow, you are wrong! The eSports have millions of fans around the world.

It all started a few decades ago, when naturally a group of people who shared a hobby decided to start making disputes on their consoles a little more organized, then some sponsors came and even one or another institution was interested in the fact, but everything was cooked up. slow fire in different parts of the world.

Subsequently, the FIFA phenomenon and shooting video games arrived, their popularization gave way to the creation of organized events in the early 2000s (obviously at that time they did not have as many followers or as much coverage as they do today).

The years passed and technology accelerated the pace more and more; Every year the games were optimized and with the launch of each new console the experience improved remarkably. This attracted more and more adherents, and consequently, there was more general interest.

E-Sport, an exponentially growing market

For a new generation, a new sporting discipline: the bet on esports has conquered the markets and established itself as a global phenomenon with a target population: millennials. Over the past decade, a vast network of teams has emerged, bringing together professional gamers and attracting millions of viewers through live or streaming events (e.g. YouTube or Twitch).

The trend represents a huge and ever-growing market opportunity. The total revenues generated by this international phenomenon increased by 41% in 2017 to reach 696 million dollars. But the expansion is not about to end there. The market is currently underexploited. If we take our analogy with the NFL, the eSports industry generates only $4 per spectator per year while the NFL generates $50.

This suggests that properly operated, this industry could redefine the world of sport as we know it as well as the world of media, advertising, and entertainment. Teams such as Fnatic, Team Liquid, OpTic Gaming have largely exploited the first bases of this new booming economic system. These have attracted many major international brands. Examples are plentiful: Amazon issued a check for $ 970 million in 2014 to acquire Twitch, the largest eSports streaming platform in the United States and Europe. Likewise, multinational companies such as McDonalds, Adidas, Visa, and BMW have made significant advertising investments in the sector over the past five years.

Perhaps the biggest impact on traditional sports institutions, however, has been the launch of dedicated eSports divisions in some of the world's most prestigious sports clubs. In October 2016, Paris Saint Germain launched an eSports franchise along with Ajax FC, FC Schalke, and West Ham United.

In order to control its development, organizations such as the FSIE (International Federation of Electronic Sport), created in 2010 and based in South Korea, have been set up to promote this discipline. The Olympic Committee in 2016 recognized e-Sport as a sport and opened the dialogue around the integration of the discipline for the 2024 Olympics. A trend taken seriously since this initiative immediately led to the creation of eSport Integrity Coalition to monitor its professionalization and avoid, for example, doping cases.

eSport has today

This natural evolution brought with it new "modalities"; this together with a change in the culture of young people (who now tend to spend more time in front of a screen) resulted in the great leap of eSports, which has been magnified in recent years.

Televised tournaments with spectators around the world, professional players who are dedicated exclusively to that, prizes of millions of dollars, electronic sports have definitely revolutionized today's world and everything seems to indicate that they are here to stay. The possibility of entering the Olympic games in the next editions is even being studied.

What future for eSport?

This is the new phenomenon! The video game sector, so particular and often marginalized, is exploding: the democratization of the discipline with more and more players and professional teams, crowds never seen in competitions, the rise of a new economy via tournaments, media coverage, sponsorship… Even Google is getting started with the official announcement on Tuesday of the launch of its streaming video game platform, called Stadia. The internet giant is making a remarkable entry into the world of e-sport by bringing with its cloud the promise of new horizons.

In short, we are witnessing the rapid growth of a new discipline and a new market, in barely 20 years and which does not seem to stop!

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