The eSports industry experienced lots of growth in 2020 largely because of the covid-19 pandemic lockdown restrictions forcing people to stay at home and is poised to grow even further in 2021. With traditional sports having been sidelined in 2020, people starving for more interaction, stadiums closed to fans and spectators and gamers alike turning to eSports. According to Newzoo, a popular eSports analytics company, about 22% of the UK’s Internet population takes part in eSports and it’s expected the global gaming revenue will hit £200 billion by end of 2021. The popularity of Streaming platforms and streamers has exploded, allowing the streamers to earn extra income from broadcasting their live gaming sessions, engaging with other players, and interacting with fans.
Building on the tremendous growth last year, the following are some of the trends eSports are forecasting for 2021.
Convergence Of Traditional Sports And Esports
Many industry experts recently predicted that we would see greater convergence between eSports and traditional sports with the professional football clubs launching eSports teams.
Evolution And Increased Fragmentation
Industry experts like Spiketrap have indicated that more people are now streaming a greater volume and variety of content than ever. For instance, one source found that 40% of the UK population has live-streamed content as compared to just 22% in 2017, and it’s expected that the live streaming industry will hit £68.5 billion by the end of 2021. Spiketrap forecasts that fragmentation in the eSports market is created by the increased growth in the content; variety and source of live streaming. Content creators such as athletes and musicians must find ways to integrate live streamed content with their own content to better connect and grow their relationships with spectators and fans.
Increased Participation In Esports
The eSports industry has grown immensely over the past few years with more players participating in the games. For example, eSports One has experienced an upsurge in image banners, skins, badges, rankings, and virtual currency as players try to find a way to enjoy what they love and show off their skills to fellow competitors and friends.
Daniels, T. (2021, July 21). Esports viewership breakdown with Esports charts: June 2021. Esports Insider. https://esportsinsider.com/2021/07/esports-viewership-breakdown-with-esports-charts-june-2021/
Willingham, A. (2018, August 27). What is eSports? A look at an explosive billion-dollar industry. CNN. https://edition.cnn.com/2018/08/27/us/esports-what-is-video-game-professional-league-madden-trnd/index.html
A pro E-sports team is getting $210 million to change its name. (2021, June 4). The New York Times – Breaking News, US News, World News and Videos. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/04/sports/esports-name-change-tsm-ftx.html