For years avid fanatics of video games have been competing against each other and challenging one another to the extent that in recent years, playing video games has been recognized by many as a sport in own right. Over the past couple of years, esports became a growing interest, especially among the younger crowds. This interest is growing at a rapid pace, and over the past 12 months, the importance hiked above expectation when it became a billion-dollar industry.
Increased Interest in ESports
Over the past 12 months, the popularity of esports has received a significant hike in interest. When the data from various platforms including Twitch, Mixer and YouTube Gaming, were analyzed, it showed that the streaming of esports increased with 41% over the past year. This equals to 746 million hours more which were spent watching esports being played than during the previous year. The increased interest in esports has also been magnified with some significant sporting events which took place during the year. These are often aired by sports broadcasting giant, ESPN. ESPN is airing all multiplayer gaming competitions. This is another indication that this $1 billion industry is only growing in size. In addition to this, the popularity of esports is also evident in the fact that Mixer, Microsoft’s streaming service, moved to the top position on the free app category in Apple’s App Store.
Major Investment into Esports
With this increased interest, esports is also bound to attract some significant investments into the sport. It is expected that during 2019, the sum of revenue generated through esports will exceed the $1 billion mark and this figure is estimated to be around $1.8 billion in slightly more than two years. Not only are individuals investing in this very lucrative arena, but major companies are adding their financial power too. Some of the largest investors in esports are Intel. Intel spent substantially in IEM and the Overwatch League. A tag of $200 billion is added to Intel investment. Closely followed by a $161 billion which is budgeted by the US Air Force to sponsor Cloud9 CSGO.
Capitalizing on the Increased Interest
Formula 1 is only one sport which is capitalizing on the increased interest in esports, and they are using this opportunity to attract the attention of a younger crowd. The Formula 1 Esports Series is one such strategy to reach younger fans. Through esports and social media platforms, Formula 1 is expanding the interest into the sport. The F1 Esports Series just started with their third edition of this exciting event on the 11th of September. The event took place at the Esports Arena at London’s Gfinity. The event showed an increased number of entries which nearly doubled since a year ago to a total of 109 000 competitors keen on winning the title as well as the prize money of $500 000 for the winning team.