Don’t look now, but video games appear to be the next big thing in the world of professional sports. Also known as eSports, professional gaming is taking off much quicker than anyone expected, with skeptics being forced to eat their words in regards to the future of this hobby.
Here are a few of the top reasons why professional video gaming is the next big sport!
1. Native Gamers are Coming of Age
One of the leading catalysts in the growth of eSports is the fact that native gamers – or those who have been raised with video games their entire lives – are finally coming of age. No longer are video games only something that 12-year-old boys understand. You’ve got corporate executives, business owners, advertisers, athletes, and entertainers who were all raised on video games.
As a result, more people understand the ins and outs of gaming. This gives the sport more advocates, as well as leverage to grow and expand in new directions that are profitable.
2. Online Gaming Means Increased Competition
“We used to challenge our friends to arcade games like Pac-Man or Pong, but now we play Xbox or PS4 online against others from around the world,” experiential marketing expert Brad Nierenberg says. “Winners, losers, and the quest to be the best remain constant – competition has simply evolved.”
As online gaming has evolved from a tiny niche of gaming to the heart of gaming, competition has increased. No longer is your biggest rival the kid next door – it may be the kid three time zones away. This enhanced competition has created better gamers and more potential for the sport to grow.
3. Endorsements from Major Brands
Do you know what companies like GEICO, Samsung, Nisssan, Intel, HTC, and Logitech all have in common? They all sponsor professional eSports teams. If nothing else, this speaks to the long-term stability and potential of eSports. Business consultant Nikole McMyler believes these endorsements give the league a major confidence boost.
“If there is one thing I know about these massive companies, it’s that first, they don’t spend money foolishly, and second, they like to anticipate industries that will expand, and make sure they have a foothold before it takes off,” she says.
4. Focus on Live Streaming
Here’s another technology niche that’s also increasing in popularity right now: live streaming. Thanks to platforms like Periscope, Meerkat, and Facebook Live, live streaming has entered mainstream culture for the first time. However, did you know that professional gaming was actually one of the first industries to use it?
For years, eSports competitions have been streamed via the Twitch platform. For the 2013 League of Legends Championship Series Finals, 12,000 fans watched at the Staples Center. Want to know how many joined via live stream? A whopping 32 million viewers! Now that live streaming has entered the mainstream and more people know about it, the attention eSports receives will grow.
5. Lucrative Demographic
If you want a picture of how much the video game landscape has shifted over the past decade, then you’ll have to study the demographics. Whereas video gamers of the past were lazy kids holed up in their parents basements eating potatoes chips with one hand and mashing buttons with the other, today’s gamer is much different.
When you look at the eSports audience, it’s actually a very valuable demographic. It skews towards consumers who have full-time jobs and higher than average demographics. This makes advertisers happy – and when advertisers are happy, everything continues to go well.
The Future of Professional Gaming
It may sound silly at first, but once you study the facts, it quickly becomes apparent that professional video gaming has a future. Don’t miss out!
Featured photo credit: Camwilmot via youtube.com