There can be no denying that eSports, as a medium of entertainment, have massively increased in popularity over the last five or more years. With the advent of platforms like Twitch and YouTube’s live streaming feature, it has never been easier to consume video of the most skilled players in the world doing what they do best. Couple that with what people would describe as very “watchable” games, such as League of Legends and Overwatch, and you’re seemingly on to a winner.
That being said it’s always nice to match up conjecture with useful corroborating evidence, as the below infographic, produced by NJGames, does in spades. The first thing to note is the huge projected growth in audience for eSports, rising from 134 million in 2012 to a potential 557 million in 2021, and the revenue that would come with that, topping out 1.385 billion by the same point.
Fortnite unsurprisingly dominates as the most popular game for the consumer to watch with ginormous MOBA League of Legends coming in third. If you fancy yourself an eSports superstar in the making and you’re looking to go where the money is, then DOTA 2 is the one for you, with the top three highest earning athletes all playing that game.
Perhaps most excitingly, however, is the entrance of video gaming competition into the mainstream, with a spot at the 2022 Asian Games already secured and a potential berth at the actual Olympics on the horizon. As well as this, punters gambled $5.5 billion on major eSports tournaments back in 2016, a number which will have only risen since then.
The trend is clear, then, that eSports is very much here to stay. Not only that but we can expect to see a whole load more of it in the future, something which can only be good for the video game industry as a whole.