Let’s face it, eSports is huge right now and it’s only going to keep on getting bigger too. Competitive gaming is going from strength to strength, and as time has gone on we’ve seen more titles being played competitively, more players, bigger prize pots, more tournaments and also a lot more interest from big name brands who want a piece of the action. While 2017 was massive for the industry, things are only going to be bigger in 2018 and here’s why.
First of all, titles. Look it’s going to be pretty difficult to dislodge the likes of Dota 2, League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Hearthstone as the most popular eSports games out there but now we’re seeing more titles being played competitively and also more games being created with a completive mode in mind.
Take Fortnite for example. This game has taken the gaming industry by storm, with millions of people playing so far. While the game hasn’t made full release yet, there is a “Battle Royale” mode which looks set to also host private games, meaning it could become another eSports title in the very near future. We’re also seeing games such as FIFA continuing to progress as an eSports game too, with various regional events and the FIFA Interactive World Cup.
There’s also now more interest from big mainstream brands who are wanting to get in on the action too. With eSports events being so popular, they are often streamed live over the internet and some even make it onto TV. What better to way to showcase your brand than by being involved in one of the freshest and fastest moving industries on the planet? The likes of Coca-Cola, Audi, Pepsi and Bud Light are already heavily investing, with several more set to follow suit.
The growing interest not just from brands but broadcasters and the general public has only served to see more money plowed into eSports. This has meant more events can take place, bigger things can happen and also prize money is dramatically increasing year on year. Hundreds of millions of dollars are said to be available for those playing Dota 2 competitively alone, with the likes of League of Legends and Counter-Strike not far behind with prize funds estimated to be close to around $50 million.
There’s already been a couple of eSports tournaments take place in 2018 that have had a prize pool of $1,000,000 with plenty others well into their thousands too. While money is one of the big draws for players and also sponsored brands and broadcasters; people actually enjoy playing games and having the platform to go out and compete against other to show that they’re the best. This growing trend is reflected in the fact that even online betting brands are covering tournaments and events. Anyone interested in betting on eSports should go to the home of online betting: Betting.com, which covers all the latest sports news and lists the most trusted bookmakers in the industry.
Having events and tournaments broadcast live, be it on streaming platforms such as Twitch, on other sites such as YouTube or on television also helps to generate further interest and make eSports mainstream. 2018 is certainly the year it will become more of a mainstream product and a recognized sport and this will once again see competitive gaming take another giant step forward.