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The Rise of Esports

Posted Nov 6, 2018

Did you know there are over 2.2 billion (with a b!) active gamers across the globe? As the number of gamers increases, so is the number of esports fans, and Business Insider has a thing or two to say about the topic.

According to BI, the number of esports fans is predicted to increase 59% over the next five years. In fact, they predict that 600 million consumers across the globe will watch esports in 2023. That’s a significant jump from the 378 million viewers in 2018. Even ESPN, the self-proclaimed “worldwide leader in sports”, has joined in on this, covering the world of competitive gaming on its site. Considering that there are a couple billion active gamers, however, the number of esports fans specifically has room to grow.

But what is pushing this growth? Several factors, including investment from traditional sports leagues, a higher number of broadcast deals, and a larger emphasis on mobile gaming. From the NFL and the NBA, to Disney and Twitter, major companies – both those with and without their roots in sports (or gaming!) – are recognizing this opportunity and starting tournaments, broadcast deals, and gaming leagues.

Regardless, no growth is completely smooth. In fact, esports is expected to face some bumps in the road including match-fixing, Olympics exclusion, and the repeal of net neutrality rules. However, considering the huge popularity of gaming overall and the increase in esports from high-profile actors and influencers, industry leaders are still confident that this audience will see major growth over the next several years.

With so many people paying more attention to gaming and esports, brands should take notice. The esports audience is growing not just by volume, but by viewership frequency, which presents a huge opportunity for companies to gain reach and build their brand image. What makes this market even more unique is their diversity and willingness to focus on the content on screen.

It’s no secret that Twitch, which has a dedicated mobile app, is the primary consumption platform for esports. Launched in 2011, Twitch has seen millions of viewers per month, which has only continued to grow. From TV to mobile, this streaming platform comes to show just how much potential there is in the realm of esports.

As games, technology, and mobile continue to evolve, so do the possibilities in esports. The updated Unreal Engine 4, for one, is a major breakthrough for game developers across the globe. With even more excitement and engagement to come, esports has never looked so promising.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get in the game.

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