Waiting for your turn to play video games as a child tinged many instances into the most painful ones. Thanks to the internet, competitive gaming has evolved over a gamut of interfaces, hardware and genres. While you may not be very appealed by the concept of watching someone else play video games, eSports has grown at an expediential rate, and it stages a potential global audience of 1.4 billion, leveraging striking opportunities for gamers and developers.
The popularity has spiked multi-fold, so much so that LA 2024, a committee bidding to host Olympics in Los Angeles in 2024, has pledged to get eSports on board for the 2024 Olympics after acknowledging the recent League of Legends World Championship, which took place in an arena packed with spectators, in California. The objective is clearly to draw the attention of gaming enthusiasts, especially millennials, towards the grace of Olympic games.
Mashable reports that in order to formally initiate the process of enlisting and recognizing a new sport in the Olympic games, S.Korea-based International eSports Federation (IeSF) has registered a formal request to the International Olympics Committee (IOC). Asserting that the city of LA has all necessary infrastructure to host the event, LA 2024 committee endorses full-fledged support for hosting eSports for uniting youth with the Olympic Movement.
Technology is deeply embedded at the heart of this ambition. LA 2024 also released an emoji keyboard for the 2016 Rio Olympics, in an attempt to voice awareness in the tech-savvy youth for the Olympic Movement and call for support to bring Olympics to the LA. Simultaneously, IeSF has garnered several collaborations with international sports and e-sports chapters, thus fueling the efforts of LA 2024.
The attention to eSports has found itself based on online streaming and Big Data as Deloitte recognizes that over three-fourth of viewers are millennials with their age between 18 and 34, while 84 percent are men. This foundation offers easy growth opportunities with the streamlined audience. Furthermore, eSports have seen compelling investments and acquisitions engaging noteworthy names like Amazon and Swedish media house Modern Times.
Presently eSports only occupy merely one percent of the revenue generated from sports, but Beige Market Intelligence predicts a 25% CAGR for this niche. Indian evangelists foresee a revenue of $3.6 billion by 2022 in India, individually. While the global eSports market is moderately concentrated with few market leaders deep-seated in the US and South Korea, they are rapidly gaining impetus in developing markets like China and India.
If IeSF and LA 2024 figure out means for gender-neutral competition (contrary to the regime of Olympics), the way ahead can be highly animating.