ESports – Where It's Going And Where It Can Take You

Dhwani Shah
July 17, 2024
3 min read

Playing video games has ceased to be just a pastime anymore. It has transformed into a legitimate profession that can provide you with international recognition and seven figure earnings. Welcome to the world of eSports!

What is eSports?

ESports, or electronic sports refers to the world of competitive video gaming as viewed by spectators. Fans watch teams of video gamers compete against each other in a virtual environment in popular games like League of Legends, Call of Duty or Fortnite, to name a few, just as they would watch a physical sporting event, like a live basketball match at the court.

With their growing popularity, eSports tournaments can now often be viewed at an organized arena event, or streamed online, and are followed by millions of people across the world. There were an estimated 25.7 million eSports viewers in the United States in 2018, a figure which is projected to rise to over 46 million by 2023. Infact, more people watched the 2016 world finals of popular eSports game League of Legends (43 million viewers) than the NBA Finals Game 7 that year (31 million viewers). eSports is now a booming, international sensation that has entranced the major lot of the crowd.

How does it work?

eSports players generally engage in two activities:

  1. Streaming - Some gamers live stream themselves on the internet while they play video games. ‘Streamers’ can add custom graphics to their stream or interact with viewers via a chat room, thus engaging with and entertaining them. Streaming can be extremely profitable, and allows streamers to make money straight from their homes. Gaming influencer "PewDiePie'' is one of the most popular and highest earning YouTubers, with a net worth of around $40 million.

  1. Pro gaming - Skilled eSports players who rise through the ranks can compete professionally in teams (Evil Geniuses, Fnatic) or play solo (1v1). Successful professionals can make six figures or more and also develop a huge fan base. Retired gamers can choose to stream themselves or coach eSports teams.

Pro gaming teams compete against other teams in eSports leagues or tournaments, which host regular seasons, playoffs and world championships and offer enormous amounts in prize money. Leagues generate huge amounts from ticket sales as they are watched by tens of thousands of spectators in-person.

Why is it gaining traction?

The eSports industry has been around since the 1990s, but it has recently been gaining a lot of momentum and popularity across the world, and has exploded into a multi billion dollar industry.

  • The quality of video games has improved greatly over the years. Each new FIFA game has better graphics; the latest ones are almost life-like. 
  • Moreover, the internet has undoubtedly revolutionized almost every domain, including the world of eSports. Enhanced connectivity allows the users to immerse into a realistic game without interruption, making an already addictive activity even more absorbing.
  • Besides, gone are the days when you needed an extensive PC set-up to play or watch your favorite video games. The mobile revolution has allowed gamers or viewers to carry these games in their pockets and access them anywhere and everywhere.
  • And let’s not forget, gaming is an extremely social activity. Friends compete against one another and gamers engage with other gamers or fans, connecting people in never seen before ways. If you have ever been to a live basketball or soccer game, you know how electric the atmosphere there is. Live gaming events bring people from across the world together to enjoy an exhilarating experience. 
  • The beauty of eSports lies in the fact that your height or your strength are inconsequential, for the most part, in your being able to compete. Factors such as gender, culture and location have a relatively insubstantial bearing in players’ participation, thus contributing to a wider and global fan base.

Why is it a viable career option?

Gaming, albeit an unconventional career option, may be emerging into a rather practical one, considering the accelerating emergence of esports in the past few years. 

The 2019 Fortnite World Cup Finals had a prize pool of $30.4 million. This prize money is split between the players on the winning team, in addition to their league salaries, which goes to show that pros can make BIG money competing in eSports tournaments. Players and teams also earn money from sponsorships, brand endorsements, merchandising and ticket sales.

Furthermore, playing video games is shown to improve cognitive development such as better eye-to-hand coordination and superior memory. Video games also enhance multitasking, decision making and problem solving abilities, skills which are very important in everyday life as well. Pro gaming in teams teaches you the importance of communication and teamwork.

Gaming has its obvious advantages, and while you must keep in mind that it takes a great level of practice and dedication and years of preparation to rise through the ranks and be at the top of the sport, gaming can be far more than just a hobby.

However, making a career in esports is not solely limited to being a pro gamer. There are plenty of other jobs in the market, like coach, host, marketing and production crew. The eSports industry is the highest employer by demand right now and traditional industries are now finding ways to be involved with eSports, so now might be a great time to consider a career in this flourishing industry. 

The eSports industry is estimated to generate nearly $2 billion in revenue in 2022. This shows how lucrative a market it is, for players, brands, producers and everyone else involved. As gaming is integrating itself into popular culture, it will continue to grow and revolutionize the gaming and sports industry . 

Sports Academy
Dhwani Shah

Up next