It has been an incredible journey. From the small local tournaments organized by internet cafe owners and gaming enthusiasts back in the late 90s to the large scale international events in world’s most iconic venues of today. Esports is growing rapidly, fueled by the increasing popularity of video games and companies recognizing business opportunities. With the global esports market expected to grow from $776.4 million in 2018 to more than double the value in 2023 according to several sources, it is fair to say that esports has become a huge part of the entertainment industry.
The biggest games
For a very long time, the Counter Strike series and StarCraft: Brood War have been considered as the two pillars upon which esports was built. Amazingly, while many esports titles come and go, these two veterans still have a very strong esports presence today, and SC has often been referred to as the national sports of South Korea. Both series are still in the TOP 5 on the list of the Top Games Awarding Prize Money on esportsearnings.com, but Counter Strike has been dethroned from its dominating position by Dota 2. While League of Legends continues to be one of the most popular games of all time, no title has made a bigger splash in recent years than Fortnite. Despite being much younger than the other games, it has quickly climbed on the podium, just behind CS: GO and Dota 2. Not only has Fortnite changed the gaming scene by popularizing the battle royale genre, but it has had an impact both on the industry itself as well as our culture. Advertising within the game itself has become a popular trend for companies and soon one could see the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars in Fortnite skies. The rapper Travis Scott performed five virtual live shows within the game, boosting the sales of Fortnite-branded Cactus Jack products and reaching over 27 million viewers. The concerts are still available to watch on YouTube. All of this opened new ways of advertising and reaching target audience. Fortnite’s success allowed the developers at Epic Games to create their own platform for selling video games, which is now one of the major marketplaces alongside GOG and Steam. The company makes so much money it is able to lure new players to their platform by offering high quality games every few weeks completely free. So far, the “gifts” included such hits as GTA V, Alien: Isolation, Elite: Dangerous, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, Star Wars: Battlefront 2, Watch Dogs 2 and many other AAA titles as well as indie games. Other companies are also trying to get a piece of the battle royale pie, supporting esports along the way. Call of Duty: Warzone has been one of the most successful CoD games to date, and despite a relatively recent release, it has already surpassed $3 million in prize money awarded in esports tournaments. And then there are other games, achieving varying degrees of success – the highly popular Valorant and Apex: Legends, FIFA 21, PUBG, Rainbow Six: Siege, Rocket League, Hearthstone, Overwatch and more. With such a big variety of genres to choose from, it’s no surprise esports attracts more and more people who are willing to test their skills in competitive gaming.
The largest markets
According to statista.com, in terms of revenue, the two largest esports markets are Asia and North America. China alone accounts for 10% of the entire market. No wonder Worlds 2020, the biggest event of League of Legends, was held in Shanghai. Following the information provided by businessinsider.com, Latin America is expected to join the list of top regions, reaching $42 million in revenue by 2023. According to LatinAmerican Post, the number of esports fans in that area
continues to grow, with a projected number of 72 million to be achieved in 2022.
Competitive gaming for everyone
Esports has become an important part of gaming and is now more accessible than ever before. With so many games available worldwide free of charge, improved internet connectivity, as well as tutorial videos and streaming, anyone can learn, put their skills to the test and be recognized by professional teams. At Maxi Players, we are thrilled to provide yet another opportunity to become a part of this exciting form of entertainment.