One of the biggest success stories over the past few years has undoubtedly been the boom in popularity of the global eSports industry.
Asia-Pacific (APAC), North America and Europe are currently the top three eSports markets worldwide, while Latin America is also emerging as a major player in the sector.
With some analysts forecasting that the global gaming market will reach a value of more than $314 billion by 2026, the associated eSports industry looks set for an extremely bright future.
With that in mind, we take a look at five key eSports trends that we believe are well worth following during 2023 and beyond.
While eSports betting still lags behind sports wagering in terms of global revenue, there is massive potential for growth as the genre becomes more mainstream.
There is already huge interest from the betting industry in the video games that feature regular in eSports. Many sportsbooks currently offer several markets on eSports competitions, and we predict that more will jump on the bandwagon over the next few years.
Additionally, research from Betway highlights that a lot of the games that feature in eSports competitions can actually burn gamers a lot of calories. You can see the full research below:
Major brands have been falling over themselves to get involved with eSports in recent times as they increasingly recognise the potential for growth in the sector.
Intel, BMW, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Red Bull are amongst the global businesses that have already invested heavily into eSports.
As franchises and competitions continue to grow, the eSports sector will move ever closer to the sponsorship levels enjoyed by many other traditional sports.
While betting companies and potential sponsors see eSports as a way to reach and engage with younger generations, they are also eager to align themselves with reputable organisations.
The eSports industry has suffered plenty of negative headlines relating to match-fixing allegations against teams, coaches and players.
As more sportsbooks and sponsors venture into eSports in the future, we expect to see more discussions about implementing structures that guarantee competitive integrity.
Advancements in smartphone capabilities and Wi-Fi connectivity have sparked a huge rise in the average time people spend on mobile devices each day.
Mobile eSports is already growing rapidly and we anticipate this trend will continue apace as the technology develops in the future.
This point is likely to be particularly pertinent where live streaming of eSports tournaments is concerned, with global viewership already increasing at a rapid rate.
eSports in the Olympics
eSports is due to debut as an official event at the 2022 Asian Games, potentially laying the foundations for future inclusion in the Olympic Games.
Medals will be awarded in eight games – FIFA, PUBG Mobile, Arena of Valor, Dota 2, League of Legends, Dream Three Kingdoms 2, HearthStone and Street Fighter V.
If the events prove to be successful with traditional sports fans, the clamour to include eSports in the Olympic Games will become difficult to ignore.