Just several years ago, esports was a completely new phenomenon that not a lot of people knew much about. Today, the situation is completely different as esports is slowly but surely entering the mainstream scene. There is almost no person alive who has not heard the word “esports” and does not know what it signifies.
Naturally, as the esports industry is becoming more and more popular, more and more money is being generated within it. Therefore, it is becoming an attractive option for a lot of young people who love playing video games and want to build a professional sports career by doing what they like.
History of Esports
Even though esports became popular just several years ago, the actual roots of esports go much farther in the past. According to the NJ Games infographic, the first esports tournament was held in 1980 and had 10,000 participants, which is not a small number. This was a Space Invaders tournament, which was the most popular game at the time.
Another notable tournament was the 1997 Quake Game competition, which attracted 2,000 participants. Even though the number of participants was not that high, the tournament was still remembered because of the prize. The winner of the tournament won the lead developer’s Ferrari 328 GTS.
The latest one was the 2018 International Dota 2 Championship which has been the most lucrative one so far. The total prize pool for this tournament was $25,532,177. The next one will probably be even higher.
The Growth in Numbers
As we have already mentioned, esports is growing by the day. One of the tell-tale signs is the number of viewers each year. For example, in 2012, esports had 134 million viewers. In 2017, that number was 335 million, whereas in 2021 it is expected to reach 557 million!
What’s really interesting is that 40% of regular viewers do not even play any of the top esports titles. That’s good news for the industry because it shows that esports is no longer reserved just for the hardcore fans, but it became appealing to the general public as well.
With the rise of viewership, there is also a rise in revenue. If we take another look at the infographic, we can see that in 2012 the total revenue in esports was 130 million US dollars. However, in 2017, that number jumped to 468 million, and it is expected that the revenue from esports will reach 1.385 billion US dollars in 2021.
Esports Streaming Is Gaining Traction
Online streaming is a huge part of esports. When gamers are not playing games, they love watching other skilled players and learning some tricks of the trade.
Twitch is the biggest online streaming platform, which accounts for 1.8% of all internet traffic. It is only behind Netflix, Apple, and Google, which tells you how massive it is. Moreover, Twitch streams account for 43% of all live-video streaming traffic, which is more than any other service.
The numbers are changing each year in Twitch’s favor, as its users spend more and more time on the platform watching and creating content. On average, users spend 100 minutes per day on the website, which is much more than before.
As you can see, esports has come a long way since it entered the mainstream scene several years ago. It is still a very young industry, so we’re sure its golden times are yet to come. Let us know what you think and if you’re part of this growing phenomenon.