Streaming has always been a key part of esports. For starters, it allows audiences to keep constantly engaged with the action, without having to physically attend an event or fork out for the cost of admission. For esports players, streaming also provides a lucrative income stream that tides them over in between tournament wins. In many ways, streaming is the backbone of the industry, but it will also shape its future.
A Profitable Alternative to Professional Esports
For a long time, the tried and tested career path for an esports professional was to begin by streaming, before advancing to an established team and participating in tournaments. Once established, many professionals continued to balance competitive play with livestreaming, with the latter often plugging the earning gap to compensate for shortfalls in expected tournament winnings.
Nowadays, more and more esports players are reassessing this balance. While the biggest prize pools at professional tournaments can yield a massive income, winnings are by no means assured. By contrast, the lucrative nature of livestreaming is a far more sure thing. An esports player with a reasonable profile can expect to reel in around 5,000 US dollars every month by broadcasting over platforms like Twitch. In 2020, several high-profile esports players turned their back on professional play entirely. Shroud, once a big name in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive circles, has turned their attentions back towards streaming and the income it generates, saying goodbye to tournament play completely.
Players Can Attract the Attention of Sponsors and Teams
If you’re looking to carve out a career as an esports professional, streaming is an easy way to put yourself on the world stage, without having to venture to live events. However, there’s more to this than streaming your gaming and hoping a would-be sponsor happens upon your broadcast, is suitably impressed and signs you up. You will of course need to establish yourself with decent viewership figures beforehand. You will also need to undertake some self-promotion. This is fairly simple, however. Some basic social media marketing will allow you to connect with potential audiences and network with existing teams and sponsors.
An Accessible Sports Betting Alternative
In addition to being a far more accessible than conventional sporting events, streaming has made it far easier to bet on the outcomes of esports matches. With audience numbers on the rise and esports fixtures more diverse than ever, the gambling appeal of esports is hard to ignore. Esports gambling revenues were estimated to hit 14 billion US dollars in 2020, with just under a third of all gamblers having bet on at least one esports fixture. You don’t even need to have an intimate knowledge of gaming or insights into a specific title to make an informed bet. Platforms like 1337PRO provide would-be gamblers with a clear overview of what’s happening in the esports world, with a full breakdown of tournament fixtures and match outcomes. With such resources readily available to all, it’s fairly straightforward to make a sensible bet and pocket an easy return on your stake.
As live events have had to compromise in the wake of COVID-19 and travel restrictions, the importance of live streaming for esports fans and players has never been more obvious. Streaming serves as an indelible fail-safe, with platforms able to weather any storm and keep players connected. However, streaming platforms also level the playing field. Unlike other sports that require professionals to attend in person, an esports player at the top of their game needn’t have to leave their desk to take home a title. What’s more, as mobile esports becomes more the norm and the 5G roll-out picks up pace, high-speed streaming is becoming possible across all device and network types. Ultimately, it will be streaming that continues to reshape and redefine esports as a whole.