4 Reasons Why Esports Are Increasing In Popularity
- Streaming / Accessibility: Streaming websites such as Twitch and ESTNN have become increasingly popular. This allows the video game population to easily follow their favorite stars, such as recent ESPN cover star Ninja. In comparison this is like being able to watch Tom Brady, LeBron James, Lionel Messi and Mike Trout do what they do best, basically whenever you’d like, for free. Bill Simmons a prominent NBA media figure mentions how when he started watching basketball he could see his favourite players on TV about once per season. The increase in availability allows video game fans to become incredibly close to the streamers, while the streamers can make millions a year from advertisement revenue and sponsorships.
- Media: Popular sports websites such as ESPN and TheScore have put an increased effort into creating esports related content. Additionally, esports niche specific sites such as ESTNN.com are now popping up to support the growing need for esports news and content. This has allowed esports fans to get higher quality, higher quantity content whenever they’d like. Major traditional broadcasters such as ESPN, ABC, Disney and others have recently signed on to air esports.
- Billionaire Investors / Developer Support: Recently Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch League added 8 new franchises. These 8 franchises reportedly each paid over $35,000,000 to join the league. The owner’s of these teams are members of the elite, including the owners of the NFL’s Patriots, Rams, and the MLB’s Mets. These investments have lead game developers to increase their spend on producing esports events, and developing esports focused games, thus leading to filling massive stadiums and an increase in video game sales.
- Prize Pools: Esports prize pools are growing exponentially, and creating multi-millionaires. The recent Dota 2 The International 8 had a prize pool of over $24,000,000. The winning team of that tournament took home over $11,000,000. This type of money is that of the salaries of major traditional athletes. The increase in prize pools and overall legitimacy has even led parents to invest in video game tutors for their children. This is a trend that will continue as esports growth is still in it’s early stages.