Years ago kids and adults alike dreamt of the day that their hobby of playing video games would become lucrative. Alas for most it was a pipe dream, wishful thinking as surely this would never come to fruition. Fasttrack to 2019 and eSports is almost a 1 billion dollar business, attracting over 300 million fans worldwide. With global tournaments and regular competitions in a variety of games viewers can watch their favourite professional athletes play and compete. Yes, you read that correct. Professional athletes. Countries around the world are starting to recognise pro eSports players as professional athletes. This decision is largely due to visa rightsas many players wanting to come from overseas to compete in the best leagues in the world have in the past struggled to obtain visas.
For many, watching sport is a pastime that bring joy and pain, excitement and entertainment and the thrill of seeing their team or favourite star win, eSports is no different. Via the online streaming platforms of YouTube Gaming and Twitch, fans can regularly watch competitions, interact with their favourite players, and discuss the gameplay with fellow fans. This interaction is crucial to the business model of eSports. As the number of viewers increases, the higher the marketability of these games become and the more likely brands are going to want to sponsor and associate with them. If you need further proof of this, ask The Mouse. In July 2018, Blizzard signed a deal with Disneyto broadcast one of their games ‘Overwatch’ over its channels. Its not just Disney getting in on the scene. NBA teams, the Golden State Warrior and Cleveland Cavillers have also backed eSports teams competing, while in Australia, Melbourne City and Adelaide Crows have teams that compete in major tournaments. Even the International Olympic Committee is trying to better understandeSports. So the next time you hear about your friend that seems to do nothing but play video games, instead think that maybe they might just become the next eSports superstar.