The Future of Entertainment. Part 2: eSports
In part 1, we have discussed the growth of the gaming industry and the blurring of the lines between traditional forms of entertainment and new ways to pass the time. Well, there is an emerging explosive market called eSports, and it has an even better chance to become the top entertainment attraction in the near future.
2018 has already largely become the year of eSports. Riding on the great momentum from 2017, where the market has beat expectations, eSports entered the 2018 with fanfare, taking over conventions and becoming an increasingly larger part of the culture. The revenues are growing, the audience numbers are staggering, and the adoption rate is simply amazing. Top players consistently earn 6-figures through Twitch streaming and sponsorships and tournaments are getting larger prize pools as the competition for talent grows. However, as much as professional leagues are taking the spotlight, it is the grassroots that have the most impact on the growth of eSports.
In the United States, possibly the biggest country for eSports, many universities already have eSports programs and offer scholarships to budding players, as high schools across the country organize their own teams and interscholastic competitions become increasingly popular. Tiffin University in Ohio recently opened its own eSports arena, as they expand their eSports program. This approach is what will make eSports valuable in the long run, as spectators and competitors will be accustomed to eSports from an early age. IN addition, the rise of the eSports arenas across the country will accelerate recognition and will bring the eSports to a more mainstream audience that as of now is not fully familiar with the phenomenon. A 30,000 squared feet facility open in Luxor casino in Las Vegas is a latest testament to the rise in popularity of eSports. Arenas and stadiums designed specifically for eSports are attracting big audiences and the industry will only continue to grow and expand. Furthermore, professional teams such as Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers already have their own eSports teams, further blending the line between online and offline entertainment, while leagues like MLS have launched their own competitions (eMLS) designed to promote their brand to an energized audience previously unfamiliar with it.
eSports growth is not limited to the Untied States, of course. Dubai has recently announced its plans to construct Middle East’s first eSports stadium, France is experience a massive surge in interest, Spain and Russia have long been at the forefront of gaming and eSports, not to mention Germany, UK, Netherlands, and other countries. The biggest stage of all, though, is in Asia. eSports are massive in China and South Korea, but other countries like Vietnam and Indonesia also have millions of people interested in eSports. The vast geography of eSports is what truly allows it to flourish and develop so quickly, gaining market share and captivating audiences around the globe.
Naturally, this explosive growth is a ripe opportunity for investors and corporations. Startups dedicated to eSports are emerging quickly, with investors eager to invest in what could possibly become the next NVIDIA or Activision. Companies like iCTABLE are developing new and exciting products for the market and many other corporations are excited to gain entry to the market. One product in particular, iCTABLE eSports Machine, is a key component in understanding the dynamics of the budding eSports market. This machine has a sleek, attractive design, compared to a Formula 1 car, built with features to benefit eSports athletes looking for the slightest advantage in their quest to win glory. These innovative products are made with the eSports in mind specifically, highlighting the demand for specialized products as the industry moves in a direction of professionalization and increased appeal as a mainstream attraction.
There is no doubt that eSports have the greatest potential out of many emerging markets to become the future of entertainment. VR, mobile gaming, TV series, movies, and the data available tends to back those assertions. All of those “conventional” methods of entertainment :music, theater, art are here to stay, no doubt, even as they continue to morph and change into something different. But eSports are different—and so revolutionary in their appeal, affordability, and accessibility, that it boggles the mind. eSports have the power to unite the people behind the screens and in the stands, those looking for stories of teamwork and friendships, glory and gore, failure and determination, rise and fall, and those that want the emotions emanating from the stadium as well as from the stage. eSports have the power to bring people together, whether inside an arena or in a chat room. eSports have the power to merge the world of today with the world of tomorrow. eSports are truly the future of entertainment.