Esports were a big winner in the Lockdown of 2020, and the Esports industry is changing in 2021. We’ll look at Key esports industry trends this year.
The future of the esports industry looks good – and set for growth – despite a recent fall in some forms of revenue and prize money.
If you still think esports (or e-sports if you prefer) is just about kids and young adults playing in the bedrooms, think again. The esports community is now the esports industry. No one knows quite how big esports currently is. Some esports industry analysis estimates the value of esports already at figures ranging up to $25 billion – which is a lot of money – with nearly half a billion people involved.
Whatever the real figure is, the esports area is a phenomenal new market. Like almost all forms of online gaming, esports industry growth beyond that huge figure is a given.
So, to find out why esports are here to stay, what’s next, and some secrets of the esports industry like 50 no deposit free spins, read on!
Esports – What We Should Expect in 2021
OK, let’s start by defining esports. In a nutshell, it is competitive online gaming. Unlike simply playing competitive games online, or other kinds of online gaming, true esports is organized, has real-world prizes, and has opportunities for professional careers. An esports tournament provider often has big prizes on offer – up to a million dollars or
What’s Driving Esports Growth
The staggering growth in esports participation in 2020, due to lockdowns, shows no signs of falling off in 2021. It’s a fun and easy way for spectators, starved of live traditional sports, to be part of a crowd. It’s a great way to hang out with friends and family, too.
What this means is a big audience – and big audiences are attractive to advertisers.
About 75% of the total esports market revenue comes from selling media rights plus advertising and sponsorship.
That’s why in 2020, YouTube negotiated broadcast rights to Activision Blizzard’s wildly popular group shoot-em-up “Call of Duty”. YouTube also snapped up the rights to Overwatch Leagues. In 2021 watch out for Riot Games selling media rights for League of Legends, one of the biggest esports franchises on the planet.
Show Me the Money, Jerry
With all this money going around, it’s no surprise that professional sports teams are now launching esports teams, too. One early example is the Philadelphia Eagles, a ‘real world’ football team, who are signed up with EEG (Esports Entertainment Group) as their esports tournament partner.
Also, we already see that the NBA sponsored a players-only esports tournament. Sixteen NBA ‘real world’ athletic stars played in a charity tournament on Xbox.
Then there’s Premier League football club Manchester City working with Fortnite on the Faze project – plus check out the new FIFA Quaranteam program. Expect to see more lucrative cross-branding of traditional sorts of teams with other kinds of esports organizations.
I’ve Got the Moves Like Jagger
The next big thing to watch out for is an esports-music fusion. While the lockdowns across the world keep music venues closed, the virtual music venues of esports are wide open and ready for business. We always need to remember this is now 20 years into the 20 th Century, and old rules and habits need no longer apply.
That’s why the team at Fortnite for example, are already hosting streamed concerts, with names like Diplo, J Balvin, Travis Scott, Noah Cyrus, and Young Thug in the mix. These are globe-spanning affairs, which allow artists to reach every part of the globe in real-time.
Unlike the Jessie-J song, the esports industry in 2021 is very much about the money.
There are many clever ways esports games vendors have found to separate players from their cash and make the players enjoy the process. As well as the normal IAP (in- app purchases) that have been around for a while, there is a big trend in monetizing badges, game ‘skins’, banners etc.
The clever model of ‘freemium’ games is working well. In 2021 expect more of these ‘free’ esports games (or esports tournaments), which are littered with opportunities for participants to pay real-world money for special features, special access, souvenirs, etc.
All of this is highly familiar in real-world sports, with those overpriced half time drinks and hotdogs, or the rip-off prices of buying an official team kit from your local sportswear outlet. So, nothing conceptually new here – simply traditional sports marketing to fans and spectators in a new technological setting.
The prize money from esports peaked in 2019 but took a hit in 2020, during the lockdown. That’s not entirely surprising as individual wages, job security, companies, and whole economies were in trouble worldwide. Even so, games like Counterstrike: Global Offensive still splurged out over $15.8 million to winning players. That’s none too
shabby. There is every reason to expect esport prizes to go up again as things improve.
There’s no doubt the esports are set for a bright future. Most likely, we are looking at a maturing market in 2021, as esports industry trends and business models become better understood. So, what do you think the future holds for esports?
Write to us in the comments section and let us know.
Chris Delgado is a true online casino enthusiast with over five years of experience in the industry. He is a sports betting expert who covers all the latest betting tips and breaking news, as well as providing insight and analysis of the industry from the very beginning so you can start advancing your betting strategy.