In 2016, eSports revenues were almost $500M—some sources put it at close to $900M! And they will no doubt reach a billion and a half by 2020.
League of Legends is an undeniable presence in eSports, with more than a hundred million players around the globe. Tournaments regularly sell out entire stadiums. The average annual salary of a North American League of Legends championship series player? Over $100K!
Digital sports is here to stay. Teenagers loudly cheer their favorite eAthletes, and those same players will soon organize to bargain collectively.
What’s at work here? Why is this thing catching on so quickly?
Here’s why: The audience plays the game. So they’re more involved than ordinary sports fans.
Peter Guber, CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, says they’re not just passengers, they’re full-on participants. Guber told CNBC he thinks eSports “has all the tools to really go the distance and become something powerful.” Guber is also co-owner of the L.A. Dodgers and the Golden State Warriors.
Chris Rossbach, Chief Investment Officer at J. Stern & Company in London, says eSports is the future for investors, surpassing pro sports. And Newzoo, an expert in video game data, predicts the audience for eSports will grow to nearly 400 million Earthlings in 2017.
Investors, take notice: eSports viewership is doubling year-over-year. Plus new and better gaming equipment is on the way, making the games faster and more compelling.
- Fact 1: the International Federation of eSports has applied to the International Olympic Committee. They want to be part of the Olympics!
- Fact 2: Universities are starting to offer eSports scholarships.
- Fact 3: Professional sports teams like the Philadelphia 76ers and Manchester United are buying out prominent eSports teams.
What’s the downside, with regard to the mainstream? The games can be hard to follow. Some say they’re too complicated or too violent or both.
by Fred Bailey
eSports is front & center at the 2nd annual Hollywood Entertainment Technology Festival, Nov. 9-11.
To find out more, visit us at: www.HETFest.com