As the current craze over Pokemon Go demonstrates, the age of electronic gaming has more than arrived. What many don’t know, however, is that the age of eSports has dawned as well. If you are saying to yourself, “What the heck is eSports?” you are not alone, but that does not mean eSports is not big business.
eSports (a.k.a. electronic sports or professional gaming) is a growing market where athletes compete via computers rather than on a field or in a stadium. So instead of watching football, baseball, or basketball, fans of these sports are watching StarCraft II, League of Legends, and Dota2.
Most of these games are played one on one or in small teams competing against other small teams from all over the world. The organized eSports community has been around since the early 2000s, but the public really started to take notice when the prize pools and player bases for these games started taking off. In fact, the eSports game with arguably the highest player count at the moment is League of Legends with over 67,000,000 active monthly players as of last count.
How quickly is the phenomenon growing? The global market for eSports is increasing at a staggering rate, with an estimated compound annual growth rate of more than 36 percent by 2019, according to a TechNavio, a technology research firm.
Here are some of the most popular types of eSports:
Real Time Strategy (RTS) – RTS Games are single or team-based games where the players gather resources in the game that they then have to use to build armies to combat other players. The name of this genre comes from the fact that all this gathering, unit production, and fighting is done simultaneously with no pauses or turns. Everyone is doing everything all the time, so you must have fast reaction times and a great situational awareness to succeed.
Example: RTS – Starcraft II
Peak player base: 200,000+
Highest tournament prize pool: $250,000
First Person Shooter (FPS) – These games are single player or team-based games where the players are put into a combat environment with the purpose of accomplishing specific objectives that the other player or team is supposed to prevent them from accomplishing. These goals range from capturing a certain objective to the elimination of the opposing team. These games are called first-person shooters because the game is played from “first person perspective,” so your field of vision is what it would look like if you were actually in the game.
Example: FPS – Halo 5
Current player base: 360,000+
Highest tournament prize pool: $2,500,000
Massive Online Battle Arena (MOBA) – This is arguably the most popular genre in e-sports today. This is a team-based game where each player controls one “hero” and the objective is to try to destroy the base of the opposing team. The maps for the game have a standard layout, so all of the challenge of the game comes from choosing the right hero, the right equipment, the right team combinations, and executing dynamic team tactics on the fly.
Example MOBA – DOTA 2
Current player base: 7,000,000+
Highest tournament prize pool: $20,378,222
While not at the same level as many professional sports that you see on TV, eSports has more than enough support to make it a very viable market. To see more information on this growing industry, take a look at these reports:
Global eSports Market 2015-2019 by TechNavio covers eSports market size and growth rate to 2019, key factors driving the market, challenges to market growth, and more.
Strategic Assessment of Worldwide eSports Market - Forecast Till 2021 by Beige Market Intelligence explains the eSports market landscape, major trends, growth drivers, restraints, and geographical segmentation.
To view all available reports on the eSports market, click to MarketResearch.com.
About the Author: Robert Kaminsky is a Research Specialist at MarketResearch.com, where he helps companies get the information solutions they need to keep moving forward with their long-term goals.