eSports culture is growing dynamically within households as titles find new homes in television
eSports audiences are predominantly male (85%), and nearly half (46%) are between 18 and 25 years old.
A quote that stuck out during my research for this write-up: Millennials are getting older but their hobbies remain the same. Games as a pastime have empirically remained a hobby to those who grew up playing them. They went from playing games after school to playing games after their 9-5 shift or in between traveling.
What's changed now? The culture around video games and the rising popularity of eSports. A vertical in which many fans of competitive titles find themselves sinking time watching the game played by skilled athletes. For a variety of reasons, whether it may be enjoying the talent and the players, enjoying the competitive scene, or enjoying video games being produced like their favorite leagues like NFL, NBA, NHL, etc.
As eSports enthusiasts grow and start their own family, time will only tell how big the industry may be -- but it doesn't show signs of slowing down any time soon. Large networks such as Turner produce eLeague for example, producing a quality tournament fielded by the best talent across the board. It's easy to get into, it's fast paced and combines passion for gaming and their thrill of competition. Reasons why people who grew up playing basketball love watching the NBA.
There's a huge list of variables to discuss but we'll center this topic to just three.
1) It brings people together
As the title explores new outlets, you'll see a considerable boost in mainstream attention. Coverage on television, major publications and the atypical platforms such as Twitch and YouTube. eSports events sell out arenas around the world and tally large viewer numbers. It's not just an event, it's a lifestyle, a lifestyle that encourages interactivity among friends and family. With services and technology catching up, monitors become televisions and televisions become big rooms.
Living rooms, bars, restaurants, stadiums and movie theaters. My parents disliked my gaming passion, it was too chaotic and frustrating for them to see a child play excessively or focus on gaming and not enough prioritization on school or socializing. However when they noticed I could make a career out of it, they transitioned into it and followed my progression as a spectator looking in from the outside. Slowly watching content and other similar media which ultimately brought us a little closer.
A story that resonates with a growing audience. Parents, especially those who have children who are playing semi-professionally or professionally have begun to watch events with them like it's Saturday morning cartoons. Attending events with their children like it's a local baseball game, chips, dip and all. As we grow older we'll continue to live that lifestyle and we'll do as our parents did to us. It's synonymous to subculture communities but now it's simply a new vertical and a new method of creating relationships and socializing with like-minded individuals.
2) eSports will eventually franchise and expand to your locality
This is a debatable point but hear me out. As eSports continues to grow more regulation and procedures will be put in place to sustain the industry while opening avenues of profit for everyone involved. Right now there's a shift in power happening with organizations and leagues, they want more sustenance and more control. We can't blame them, they're dishing out millions just to support the players, they need money to do that and right now some are simply running in the red.
I wrote an article about that if you want more on the topic. However if we look at trends in and out of eSports you'll see the usual forms of uniformed profit growth. Broadcasting rights, better stipends and you guessed it -- the meat of this point, franchising. Some are against or for but in this instance we'll fast forward time and imagine franchised teams being a thing.
Leagues and tournament organizers will allow buy-ins for owners to collective make up the hierarchy. If done correctly the profit goes from A to Z, essentially giving organizations the necessary income to operate a team without the reliance of dreaded sponsorships (love you steelseries..). Franchising will expand the league and bring in new teams, new demographics and new revenue for everyone. Imagine seeing your states, cities, towns, even countries with a franchised team playing in local stadiums in circuits for prize money, seeding, and fame!
3) eSports celebrates excellency
We're going to circle back to the first point to reaffirm the stance. At the time of writing this article, over 20+ colleges offer students a scholarship for eSports. The eSports industry is just like any other sport, it's hard to get into but if and when you do, the rewards are huge. Professional players can make $30,000 just for playing, additional income can come from individual sponsors, league stipends, streaming and merchandising. All in all parents will find themselves supporting something our society would have frowned upon 10 years ago.
There's pride, passion, rewards in eSports and it's virtually limitless in where we can go. There's of course a lot that needs to go into it but for the most part, it'll remain ingrained in our lifetime as children to parents. Whether we choose to share our passion with our sons and daughters or how will be the biggest question for years to come.
Do you think you'll huddle your kids around the television or stadium to watch eSports events?
I'm a consultancy owner. I deal with eSports, players, management and more. I occasionally write and bake awesome pies. My opinions alone. Like my writing or want to get in contact with me? Twitter @MellowWalt or email [email protected]