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The Future Of eSports In 2020 And Beyond

The Future Of eSports In 2020 And Beyond

E-sports (electronic sports) is a type of sport competition where gamers play a video game against each other in real-time. Such events are well-organized and entail multiplayer video game competitions between professional players who either represent themselves or play as a team. Like other forms of sports, such as soccer, e-Sports are played in front of a live audience.

Over the past year, this phenomenon grew significantly and is projected to become a $1.5 billion industry in 2020. For this reason, eSports has attracted substantial attention from governments and investors, with the former keen to ensure that laws are met, and the latter bent on making a decent profit. With that said, let’s take a look at the notable developments we can expect in the eSports industry in 2020 and beyond.


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More Diversity

Many of eSports relate to personal computer games that can be classed into a few main genres, with MOBAs (multiplayer online battle areas) being the most popular when it comes to participation. Nonetheless, seeing as these MOBA games have complicated gameplay, it is often quite challenging for those who do not play them to comprehend. Moreover, they are difficult for players to master.

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However, the future promises more diversity in games, as developers are becoming more skilled and competitive to satisfy the ever-changing needs of gaming enthusiasts. Already, there is a shift towards social gaming that allows players to play with either friends or strangers.


Geographic Expansion of Leagues

For the longest time, the US has been among the key areas of hosting the biggest eSports events, such as cross-border tournaments and finales. However, the ever-increasing popularity of eSports in Asia has created a need to expand the game there. After all, if nothing else, the industry stands to gain much financially from the string population of 4,628,261, 443 of the Asian region, as seen on Worldometer.

Better yet, apart from moving to the Asian market, eSports is expected to go global in 2020, thanks to the worldwide expansion of the Overwatch League and Call of Duty World League. As such, enthusiasts in Europe and Asia will get an opportunity to experience these events, either live or in broadcast, on their home grounds.


Esports Gambling

As much as people love games, they love to place wagers on their favorites. In 2020 and beyond, we can expect to see the development of a relatively new form of gambling, in essence, eSports wagering. In this new form of betting, viewers can bet on matches, and gamers can wager on various exclusive in-game items.

Already, several websites that offer eSports betting exist. An excellent example of such a site is 888sports, where players can bet on sporting events from anywhere in the world.

This industry is expected to keep growing, and in 2020, the eSports gambling market is expected to reach $12.9 billion. That said, a rise in gambling means increased opportunities for investors who are keen on the excitement that eSports provides.

Game and betting enthusiasts need marketplaces, bookmakers, and advice sites to scratch the eSports wager itch. While these ventures are not eSports-focused investments and offer a wider range of services, they are bound to benefit from the industry’s rise all the same.


Increase in Favorable Legislation

Esport is not new. It has been part of the sports scene since the late 90s. And recently, it has grown to become more popular among sports enthusiasts.

But even with the increased popularity, lawmakers are yet to address the needs of this new gaming market. In the next year or two, we can expect legislation focusing on classifying eSports as a competitive sport and eSports gambling legalization.

In 2018, the US federal government lifted the country-wide ban on sports betting. Since that time, states like Nevada, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Indiana, and Iowa have legalized sports betting. Others are yet to make it legal.

So, regulations on what bookmakers can do legally and what they can’t do depend on the jurisdiction in which they operate. Some states allow for betting companies to run the trade but with some limitations.

In Nevada, eSports gambling has been legal since 2016. New Jersey has been the latest state to allow players and sports enthusiasts to bet on eSports.

Apart from gambling, lawmakers are also tasked with deciding whether to grant eSports the right to be regarded as a real sport. For eSports athletes, such a classification is crucial in easing the process of acquiring visas for international competitions.


A Reduction in the Gender Gap

A little over two years ago, Statista released a report on the share of eSports viewership by gender, and the results were perplexing. 85% of viewers were male, while only 15% were female.

However, as eSports continues to establish itself in the sports industry, as well as broaden its game offerings, more people, outside of the early viewers, will begin to identify their niche. In 2019, Forbes stated that the global eSports audience grew to more than 433 million.

If the trend continues, the eSports market will grow from the current $1 billion to $2.3 billion by 2022. As the industry continues to attract pro athletes, teams, and audiences, we can expect the percentage of women who will view and participate in eSports to grow significantly in a couple of years.


More Brand Partnerships

As eSports continues to prove itself as a revenue powerhouse, with its global revenue exceeding US football and rugby results put together, there are growing opportunities for brands that want to collaborate with the industry. These opportunities range from short low-costing investments to long higher-cost partnerships. In 2020 and beyond, there will be more sponsorship deals for teams and leagues, as well as sponsored ads on eSports platforms and websites.


The Rise of Mobile Esports

Everyone is on mobile these days. And with the emergence of online betting and live-stream applications, gaming on mobile is now skyrocketing. In 2020, there will be even more mobile eSports viewers and participants.


Final Words

As you can see, eSports isn’t about to slow down. The numbers show that eSports will grow to be one of the most lucrative revenue generators in the world in a few years. The number of viewers, individual competitors, and teams will increase, resulting in the increasing popularity of eSports and further legalization of eSports betting.

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