About Time: You Discovered ESportBy Angelica Malin
Over recent years we have seen a rise in esports, where players come from all over the world to compete against one another on games for the console. It can vary from sporting games such as FIFA to League of Legends, but it is a new phenomenon that is only going to increase in both profile and participation, with more money getting put towards it as players strive to win tournaments with a big prize fund at the end. It appeals because it puts people’s passion to competition and allows players who excel to meet those equally skilled.
To demonstrate the rise in the profile of these events, the upcoming Esports Championship Series will be held at Wembley Arena and there will be $3.5m in prize money up for grabs. As well as hosting this major event, London has recently hosted a Gran Turismo esport event, which was the first fully sanctioned FIA esports event. Although one of the most popular games when it comes to esports is League of Legends. You can even bet on who will win, the League of Legends odds can be found at Betway.com, for their upcoming tournament. Its popularity was highlighted when German footballing giants Schalke 04 recently bought a team to play in the competition which starts in June.
However, that is not the first time that a football club had become involved with an esports event. Their German counterparts VFL Wolfsburg bought an Englishman to represent them at the FIFA Interactive competitions. The reason that these clubs are becoming so involved with esports is because of the huge growth that is anticipated in the industry. The market is expected to grow by a staggering 43% in 2016 to $463m, however, experts conclude that by 2019 it will be worth $1bn. With that in mind, everything will increase. Events in London have already sold out, and that proves there is a huge fan base there for this, and because of that the sponsorship is going to increase at a significant rate. North America is the main place for these events but even in the UK we have seen huge developments. Sky Sports recently screened the final of the FIFA Interactive tournament which could soon become the norm.
Overall, as the money increases in the industry so will the profile and it has a knock on effect. The prize money at stake will create even more dedicated and high quality players which will improve the standard of the competition, that will only increase the coverage, which will increase the sponsorship and media rights. Esports have been growing silently over the years but it is now ready to become a part of the mainstream.