One of the world’s most vastly developing and popular circuits has remained the various broadcasting of eSports-related content featuring the very best gamers on the planet today and some of the industry’s most widely coveted multiplayer titles, which has caught the wandering eyes of a monumental sum of gamers and influencers.
The concept surrounding the eSports circuit has taken the media and tech world by storm in recent years, as this revolves around the live broadcasting of professional gamers and streamers competing against each other for a major prize at the event’s conclusion.
Many eSports outings will often feature a number of renowned gaming teams, such as FaZe Clan, OpTic Gaming, or Fnatic to name a few, with each roster often compiling with some of the top names for each popular multiplayer title including Call of Duty, Halo, Overwatch and League of Legends among others.
A number of avid gamers have so often tuned into live streams and broadcasts featuring the very best talent from the eSports scene, which has allowed this developing trend to become a mainstay factor in various other forms of related media, including appearances on major mainstream channels.
This trend has truly developed into one of the world’s most highly grossing sectors when discussing continuous popularity and expansion throughout sources of modern media and even online betting sites such as the odds present on888Sport, leaving many to ponder as to whether eSports will continue to amass such long-withstanding longevity for the foreseeable future or if there is any indication of a potential decline in viewership.
- The initial growth in eSports popularity:
These professional gaming events have remained an integral part of the tech and gaming industry for a number of years, yet it is clear that eSports events have enjoyed a productive and overly positive upsurge in popularity throughout a set frame of time.
The timeline between 2019 and 2020 is arguably the two major years that saw a peak increase in the overall number of active viewers and also an increase in prize money for certain gaming events.
The context surrounding this surge in viewership will likely stem from the onset of the global pandemic as more individuals were often tasked with remaining at home and working remotely which often opened up the possibility for younger audiences to tune into eSports events more frequently.
Certain competitions have also been able to increase the available prize money for winners of any event that features the most popular gaming titles, with free-to-play battle royale Fortnite racking up an astounding sum of $64.4 million in the prize pool, followed by Dota 2 at $46.7 million and CS: GO at $21 million.
This subsequent rise in popularity surrounding eSports events has merited competitive gamers with the opportunity to earn a substantial amount of winnings from taking part in these encounters, however, there is a continuous debate surrounding whether eSports events will retain their stance as a viable trend or if the market’s longevity is solely entering into decline.
- Is there a decline in active eSports viewers and what is the market’s projected future?
2020 recorded an estimated viewer count of 215.2 million for casual fans and 220.5 million for eSports enthusiasts which saw a further increase to 240 million and 249.5 million respectively in 2021.
Most studies have estimated that viewership for future eSports events scheduled for 2025 is estimated to reach an approximate figure of 318.1 million in casuals and 322.7 million for enthusiasts.
Many outside sources may have anticipated that active eSports viewership numbers may have been expected to take a nosedive following the lifted quarantine restrictions, yet many competitions are drawing in major numbers from viewers all across the globe that are only expected to rise with the continuous promotion in the media and the release of other renowned multiplayer gaming titles.
There is a clear demand in viewership increase for casual fans who may not tune into broadcasts as regularly as others, yet these are still just as significant in the means of attracting audiences from a wide scale number of active groups of individuals that may be sighting an interest in keeping up to date with all the latest updates from the professional gaming circuit.
The speculative future surrounding eSports’ continuous development and almost rejuvenation from the pandemic viewership numbers remains under question, with many audience members and mediational authoritarian figures often questioning the sustainability of such events and whether there is truly a significant gap in the active market for eSports to emerge as a major factor for future media inclusion.
Overall, eSports has retained its reputation and stock as a positive trend that is still attracting major viewership numbers from all fans of the competitive gaming scene, with the prospect of further development likely to remain in the potential promotion of future events across various forms of media, which will be sure to attract a much more widespread number of viewers for the foreseeable future.