The Growing Importance of eSports to the Global Sporting Industry

The Growing Importance of eSports
The Growing Importance of eSports

Throughout the last two decades, competitive gaming has quickly risen to prominence within modern-day society. Despite the first eSports tournament being organized in 1972, the rise of digitalization has undeniably aided the sector’s 21st-century growth. So, let’s take a look at how eSports are helping to grow their real-life sporting counterparts. 

Table of Contents

Attracting New Audiences 

At the time of writing, global eSports revenues are predicted to reach $1.1 billion in 2020, according to a report by Strive Sponsorship, which can be found here. Given the undeniable popularity of contemporary video games, it’s hardly surprising that the competitive gaming scene is having a positive impact on the worldwide sports industry. For example, despite soccer only being India’s third-most popular-sport, the South Asian country has embraced the FIFA eSports market. This is showcased through ConnectIN Esports launching a FIFA Pro League India tournament.  

The International at KeyArena” (CC BY 2.0) by Dota 2 The International

Crucially, in this instance, both eSports and traditional sports, such as soccer, are benefiting from the growth of various aspects of India’s gaming industry, including their online gambling market. As a result, popular Indian-based operators, which you can click here to find out more about, such as ComeOn!, now offer a wide array of traditional casino titles, as well as sports-related slots and sports betting opportunities, which are aiding in increasing the appeal of real-time sporting events. 

As touched on above, the creation of eSports competitions, combined with heightened spectator opportunities, has enabled competitive gaming to attract a millennial audience. While, in years gone by, sports fans have typically found video game alternatives through their passion for the real-life activity, the modern era is seeing increasing numbers of people develop an interest in sport through sports-related titles and eSports.  

Providing Off-Season Competition 

Fundamentally, one of the clear advantages of eSports in relation to their real-life counterpart is that they aren’t limited regarding events by a set sporting calendar. In recent years, Formula One and soccer have been the two most famous sports which have benefited from the ever-growing popularity of eSports. While the off-seasons for each generate a different type of excitement surrounding the driver market, mechanical upgrades, pre-season friendlies and testing, transfers, and more, these elements don’t fill the void left by adrenaline-fueled competition.  

However, despite the intrigue that comes with the anticipation for the new seasons, curiosity alone isn’t an adequate replacement for top-level sporting competition. In turn, this is where eSports have come into their own. Importantly, the new era of up-and-coming drivers within F1, including Alex Albon, Charles Leclerc, and Lando Norris, are helping to raise interest in the sport through personally competing in virtual racing. Additionally, their involvement in eSports also allows for fans to interact with their favorite stars during the off-season.  

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Moreover, the rise of eSports is also proving beneficial to the sport’s drivers. In a recent interview with Sky Sports, which is available at the official F1 website, Ferrari team principal, Mattia Binotto, claimed that Leclerc’s virtual win at Melbourne helped to motivate his Monegasque driver.  

Likely to Become More Pivotal 

Ultimately, few can argue with the fact that the last few years have seen traditional sports reach new heights because of the increased popularity of competitive gaming. Through attracting new audiences, the unrestricted nature of the eSports calendar ensures for year-long sporting interest to be achieved among both competitors and spectators. As a result, the relationship between both industries is only likely to grow stronger in the future. 


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