Not so long ago, eSports was considered an exclusive hobby of nerds who were still stuck in their parents’ basements. Despite these stereotypes, eSports has managed to show remarkable growth in recent years. Currently, eSports is estimated to be an industry worth close to $300 million.
And that’s a conservative figure. There’s little doubt that the eSports sector is rising. Investors, whether they are gamers or not, can definitely reap wonderful profits this coming year.
Here are several reasons why eSports will become a major sector for investment in 2018 and beyond:
Exponential Growth Reaching a Billion Dollars
The early estimate for eSports revenue in 2017 was close to $492 million. To put that number in perspective, that was over a 50 percent increase from revenue generated in 2015. By 2018, the eSports sector is estimated to be valued at $1 billion. By 2020, this number is estimated to rise up to $1.5 billion. Though the numbers pale in comparison to the $13 billion the NFL earned this year, the eSports sector is growing remarkably compared to traditional sports. It’s no more evident than when comparing Ligue 1 football to eSports. Ligue 1 generated 1.5 billion Euros this year, and by 2020, the eSports industry would be closing this gap. Keep in mind that eSports are relatively new and technology is still improving. Considering all this, the sector is showing all signs of thriving in the coming years.
eSports Teams and Players are Already Making Big Wins
The big money is already in eSports, regardless of how new the sector is. There are already major video gaming championships with multimillion-dollar grand prizes. Team Liquid, one of the best-known eSports collectives in the world, recently won $10.8 million in grand prize money for the Dota 2 International Championship games. When players, championships and merchandise are thrown in, the investment opportunities for eSports are rife, said eSports investor Jason Sugarman, who is also an investor in Team Liquid. By choosing the right team or a star player, eSports investors can make as much money as those who invest in traditional sports. In the future, the profit margins would only increase.
Live Streaming is Taking eSports Mainstream
The rise of eSports can be attributed to the recent popularity of live streaming platforms like Twitch, which are introducing eSports to mass-market audiences. The live streaming of eSports events is becoming increasingly popular around the world. Live streaming is popular in general among the younger Gen Z crowd. As more social media networks, gaming consoles and mobile apps introduce live streaming capabilities, the popularity of eSports would only increase.
Additionally, the gaming console market is growing. Major tech companies like Microsoft are investing big in the console market, which has shown significant growth in recent years. Traditional gaming companies like Activision and Capcom are introducing new games to mobile platforms as well. This means that certain popular titles like Halo and Call of Duty continue to be major attractions, while mobile games like Hearthstone are also on the rise. This diversifies the market and attracts new audiences. Not to mention the fact that various platforms present incredible new opportunities to invest in, which should not be missed.