What is eSports?

eSports are multiplayer videogames where people are playing against each other competitively to earn cash or other such prizes.

Who plays eSports?

eSports can be enjoyed by most anyone around the world. Participants must have access to the tools needed to play, and for some organizations meet a certain age requirement. The tools needed vary depending on the game being played but generally revolve around a console (PlayStation, Xbox or PC) and the game you wish to play. Competitive eSport players hail from all over the world and although males dominate the industry it is estimated that females make up about 30% of competitive players.

Who is involved in the eSports industry?

The eSports market is expected to reach a billion dollars in revenue by 2020. The business has become well known in the past few years for being profitable not only to players winning tournaments, but also for producers, sponsors, marketing, hardware production and event organization. The possibilities seem to be endless for investors wishing to jump straight into the market. Many well-known professional athletes and actors are also jumping on the wagon wanting to get into the booming industry as quickly as possible.

Well known professional sports organizations are also banning together to create their own eSports sectors. Big names from the New York Yankees to the Golden State Warriors and the entirety of the English Premier League have joined the eSports industry in their own way.

Where is the money?

When looking at the industry money flows down many different paths. The games are produces by companies such as EA SPORTS, RIOT, Nintendo and Valve. Once sold to the players many games then offer in game purchases which is sending more money back to the producers themselves.

Hardware companies continue to make money with new consoles and peripherals being produced. Top console companies are still Sony with PlayStation and Microsoft with Xbox, while top peripheral companies are Logitech, Razer, SteelSeries and Cooler Master.

Tournaments and global leagues are organized for the games such as League of Legends, Call of Duty, DOTA 2 and FIFA. The tournaments offer possibilities for event organizers and sponsors to jump on board. To prepare for large events and global leagues marketing partners are brought on board to create live and strategic marketing plans which appeal to each individual audience.

Players are often being paid by sponsors as well as taking home large sums of winnings from the top tournaments. Cash prizes from tournaments are provided in part by the producers and event organizers and some games such as DOTA 2 put the earnings from in game purchases back into their final prize pool.

How do you watch eSports?

eSports are well known for being on streaming platforms. Social media helped the quick growth of eSports as it did with so many other industries. The top platforms for watching eSports are Twitch and YouTube, however other companies such as Facebook have also become involved in the industry allowing eSports events to be livestreamed there as well.

eSports are becoming more visible on traditional media platforms such as TV as well. Sports channels such as ESPN, Fox and Sky have all invested in eSports and provide their viewers with eSports content throughout the year.