4 Questions About Esports Answered
The world of competitive video games is one of the fastest-growing and most exciting entertainment industries in the world, but still one of the most undervalued and untapped markets going. Learn more about it right here with these handy questions!
What Are Esports?
‘Esports’ is the term used to describe the competitive video game industry. It encompasses all the players, events, competitions and games that have a professional circuit and was first coined in the early 2000s as a way of describing tournaments between amateur players around the world.
In fact, one of the best ways of distinguishing between a proper Esports fan and someone who only thinks they are is by hearing them call themselves an ‘Esports fan/expert’. Rather than thinking of Esports as a singular entity that anyone can master, think of ‘Esports’ as an umbrella term used to describe a plethora of video games with a high enough skill ceiling to justify a professional scene.
Just like how someone couldn’t say they were a ‘sports expert’, the same should be true for anyone operating within the Esports industry.
Another thing that helps make the Esports industry what it is, is the emergence of new types of online gambling and wagers that are becoming increasingly popular with competitive video games. The rise of live streaming has coincided with virtual and in play wagering and betting on League of Legends, CS:GO, Dota 2 and Fortnite has helped develop passionate fan bases around the world.
How Much Is The Esports Industry Worth?
Ever the since the industry really began to explode in popularity in the late 2010s, Esports has been awarded a valuation of north of $1 billion. With the likes of League and CS:GO boasting player bases of well over a million active users these days, Esports has proven itself to be a lucrative business venture for some of the most high profile companies right across the business spectrum.
The likes of Intel, Red Bull, Spotify, Coca-Cola and even Mercedes-Benz have all helped lay on some of the biggest Esports events in the world recently, and companies such as Gucci, Mountain Dew, Phillips and even Dominos now have official orgs as their sponsored partners.
What Are The Most Popular Esports Games?
Few games in the world come close to matching League of Legends for player counts and overall worth, with roughly 250 million people playing the game and Asia still being the epicentre of its popularity. It houses one of the most high profile Esports events as well, with the annual World Championships blurring the lines between sports event and huge entertainment spectacle. The 2019 edition saw a 100 million people tune in on Twitch to follow the event, with 44 million concurrent users active for the grand final.
CS:GO would probably come in second to League, boasting one of the most stacked competitive calendars and arguably a more far reaching audience around the world. Whilst it currently operates two Major Championships a year, events such as ESL One Cologne, IEM Katowice and the BLAST Showdowns never fail to bring in a huge amount of excitement in the community.
Dota 2 currently has the honour of saying it has the biggest event in terms of overall prize pools however, with its annual International tournament appearing in four of the top five biggest prize purses in the history of Esports. The 2019 edition of the competition still stands at the top, with its prize purse of a staggering $35 million.
Who Are Some Of The Biggest Organizations In The Esports World?
According to EsportsEarnings, Team Liquid are the world’s most lucrative Esports org currently in terms of overall earnings. The org first began in the Netherlands but quickly moved to the North America circuits where they continue to compete in almost every game under the sun, with their League of Legends, Fortnite, CS:GO, Starcraft and Hearthstone sides arguably being the most famous. The org recently reopened a new state of the art Alienware training facility in the Netherlands, once again leading the charge for the industry.
Other major organisations include Fnatic, a British owned cross-game org specialising in League of Legends, CS:GO and Fifa, G2, a European org that has its roots in France and boasts seriously strong sides in the likes of CS:GO and League, and Evil Geniuses who are based in North America and boast rosters in League, CS:GO, Rainbow Six Siege and Rocket League.
Organisations that only hone in are also becoming more and more common at the top table of the industry too, with the likes of Astralis and Natus Vincere dominating CS:GO over the past couple of years and racking up thousands of dollars in earnings.