Nowadays the video gaming and esports industry is developing so rapidly that it is hard to follow, but if you’re new to the world of esports, we’ll get you all caught up. In this post, we are going to discuss the future of gaming in terms of emerging technology and trends.
We will also touch upon who is investing in esports growth, and how that affects the overall outlook for esports, both in terms of popularity and business growth.
Esports Stock: Why Invest in Esports
According to research by Newzoo, the global esports economy will reach a stunning $905.6 million in 2018. Meanwhile, investments in esports have increased by nearly 50%. Based on those figures, it seems esports is a pretty good business to be in.
Wondering how to invest in esports and support the future of video games? You’re in the right place. Let’s take a look at who esports investors are and why exactly they are investing so much time, energy and money.
Esports investors are typically the following people and organizations:
- Game publishers - Example: Activision Blizzard has recently purchased a major esports company, Major League Gaming, for $46 million and started a professional league for its Overwatch game.
- Computer hardware manufacturers - Examples: Nvidia has manufactured over 750 million gaming PCs worldwide and is continuing to extend its GeForce brand of PC graphics cards. Intel has been sponsoring the Intel Extreme Masters together with ESL (Electronic Sports League) since 2006. Intel also contributes to the growth of esports by supporting the gaming teams such as Edward Gaming, Invictus Gaming, and CLG Red.
- Manufacturers of gaming equipment and peripherals - These include accessories such as headsets and mice. Example: In 2015, Steelseries established a partnership with the gaming team at Winterfox.
- Energy drinks and beverages manufacturers - Examples: Red Bull first sponsored the StarCraft 2 tournaments, and now the company also sponsors the Dota 2 tournaments. Coca-Cola supports the League of Legends World Championship, one of the world’s largest esports competitions.
- Celebrities and athletes - The growing popularity of esports has attracted celebrities and pro athletes as investors including Jennifer Lopez, Joe Montana and Shaquille O’Neal.
The Future of Esports
Despite all of the figures mentioned above, the esports market is currently undervalued and has huge growth potential, according to research by BI Intelligence. However, the progress of new technologies isn’t going to stop, so the following trends will be driving the future of gaming and esports:
1. Mobile esports
Mobile esports industry is gradually gaining popularity and moving towards becoming as popular as console esports. The most known mobile esports championships are Vainglory World Championship, Clash Royale Touchdown Tournament, Summoners War: World Arena Championship. The next step is expanding the capabilities and power of mobile games and development of technologies such as the Unreal Engine 4, which allows porting of similar PC and console games onto smartphones and tablets.
2. Augmented Reality (AR)
In 2016, the world of gaming was disrupted by Pokémon Go, an AR game for iOS and Android devices. Augmented reality allows the player to hold a smartphone and point towards their surroundings, while adding the game elements to the surroundings. With over 20 million players every day, Pokémon Go was followed by a range of other AR based games. Now Pokémon Go has also become a variety of esports, with international tournaments and championships held worldwide.
3. Virtual Reality (VR)
In March 2016, Oculus Rift, a first headset for VR gaming, was released, giving gamers a totally new gaming experience, which they could experience without leaving their homes. The first national VR esports championship took place in 2017 in New York. The championship was sponsored by Oculus Rift and had a prize pool of $200,000. PlayStation, Samsung and Google also released their own branded virtual reality headsets. Google’s VR headset is completely wireless, and though it does not offer experience of the same quality as Oculus Rift, the technology is another step into the future of VR gaming and VR esports.
4. Increased awareness among mainstream consumers
Newzoo reports that 1.3 billion people worldwide are at least aware of esports. The reason is that the esports industry is seamlessly blending with traditional sports. For example, esports-related events were held with the support of and in connection with the recent Olympic games, and the NHL is about to announce the esports competitions involving EA Sports’ NHL video game series.
5. The chance to be among traditional sports
According to The Esports Observer, German parliament is thinking of recognizing esports as one of its “traditional” sports. If that happens, then chances are that other countries will also follow this trend.
6. Expanded media coverage
In the future, esports tournaments will be broadcasted not only on streaming services like Twitch but also on mainstream television networks. The reason is that modern youth is becoming more and more interested in watching esports as opposed to traditional sports.
Becoming Involved in The Esports Industry
As we have already mentioned, the esports industry is still growing and gaining popularity with youth. That’s why many young people want to contribute to the future of gaming and become cyber athletes.
One of the ways to get into esports is to attend specialized camps and trainings. If you are a parent of a child who is interested in gaming and esports, this is your chance to help them develop their potential and consider the NSG Academy summer camp offered by JKCP at Villanova University.
We have variations of the program for both middle school students and high school students. The goal of the NSG Academy summer camp is to help mold young players into the best they can be, and help them achieve their potential within the game and the industry.
During the esports summer camp, the students will:
- Train with former professional gamers who have built their careers in the industry
- Improve their level of play through skill and strategy
- Identify their gaming strengths
- Design, compete in and produce a professional grade championship tournament event
- Explore collegiate and professional opportunities within the ecosystem of esports
- Delve into all facets of the industry through exposure to industry giants and workshops with industry professionals
- Gain insight into career networking, esports team building, media exposure, tournament marketing and the future of video games
A typical day at the esports summer camp involves the following:
- Recreational play with professional instructors
- Interactive lectures
- Tournament competition
The students will have a chance to gain experience in games like Starcraft, DOTA 2, Rocket League, Overwatch, and many more. During each session, students and instructors will choose their favorite games and train for a final tournament.
What do you think of the future of gaming?
Getting involved in esports at early stages is a chance for your child to succeed in the exciting world of esports as it continues to develop. But it’s difficult to get a sense of where the future of gaming will actually go.
How do you see esports evolving? Will different, more nuanced platforms emerge? Would you ever consider attending an esports camp?
Please feel free to use the comments section for discussion.