Are Esports the Future of Sporting?
It’s hard to deny the impact that esports as a whole has had, with tens of millions of active players globally and even larger viewership number as the biggest events surpass one hundred million viewers on a regular basis, beating out even the biggest traditional sporting events with a few exceptions. It hasn’t just been a change within esports, however, but gaming as a whole as these options for online games particularly in the mobile space have shown the growing demographic and wider audience that are regular players. The question has been raised from time to time around whether or not esports could become a future staple in sporting, but what could be holding it back?
(Image from sportsthinktank.com)
High cost of entry is a limiting factor – Despite boasting such a large number of players, there’s still a disconnect for some that may make it harder to explore options in esports and that largely comes with cost – those hoping to play a game of soccer need only pay a couple of dollars for the ball and find an open place to play, and the same is true for any number of traditional sporting events, For those hoping to get into esports, however, the investment is much higher to the tune of hundreds of dollars, and may be an important factor that limits its growth.
Underrepresented regions make it difficult too – This is true across all sporting, a country that may not have a big competitive environment can be harder to break into as there aren’t enough opportunities to explore, and this is also true in esports – some regions simply don’t have enough players where a large competitive scene is possible and will be something that holds the growth of certain games back from getting too big in the future.
Familiarity is bridging the gap – There is a change occurring in esports however that is helping to bridge the gap between the electronic world and the traditional sporting world – the widespread introduction of betting and wagering has helped grow the space further, but the evolution of games that replicate more traditional sports from FIFA and NBA for soccer and basketball to iRacing and F1 for motorsports. Whist the high cost of entry and underrepresented regions still exist, these different options have helped bring in a wider variety of fans and give something different for players to try too.
It does also help that esports is only growing where many traditional sports have slowed or stagnated over time, and predictions put numbers in quite a promising light too – it could very much be that esports grow to be at least on even footing with more traditio