Welcome to part two of our four-part blog series, ‘Exploring Esports’. Last week, We dug into the history of esports and competitive gaming (have a read here if you haven’t yet). This week we’re looking at ‘The Esports Industry’. Read on to find out what the industry looks like today, what the most popular games are and how the sector has been building faster than ever, as esports cements itself as one of the biggest sports of the modern era.
Today, the esports business is booming, with an average 8.5% annual growth and projected global revenue of $1.8 billion by the end of 2022. The internet is now a key part of daily life, bringing with it wider options to consume sports, media and other content such as YouTube, Netflix and, in the case of esports, services such as Twitch. Wide accessibility and new esports services have directly contributed to the rapid growth of the sector, which was also partly boosted by the pandemic, seeing a 10% increase in Twitch viewership across various esports channels.
Increased viewership naturally increases the infrastructure and scope of industries as they expand to meet demand. According to a UKIE report from 2020, one major esports event can generate 238 full-time jobs and £12 million in contribution to the UK economy. In 2019, there were 885 major esports events with $167.4 million in prize money.
Modern esports’ biggest games include:
These games all have prize pools regularly within the 7 figure range, a huge media following and one of the largest esports communities regularly playing, watching (over 1.1 million viewers watched a single CS:GO tournament final in 2022) and engaging with the game. These communities are leading the way in the industry, setting new standards and breaking new ground within the wider sector. For example, in 2021, tournament organiser ESL Gaming announced a CS:GO tournament for women and a diversity programme called #GGFORALL.
So what about the growing streaming industry? Platforms that have sprung up to meet demand include the aforementioned Twitch, as well as:
As esports cements itself into the sporting world, it is also starting to cement itself in traditional media such as television and leave the internet to be represented even more in real spaces. Alongside extended coverage, GAME has launched 26 esports arenas to date across the country that each have a professional esports team based in them and are also open for the public to hire to play in.
All of this development has led to what could arguably be the next leap in recognition for this new type of sport; the Commonwealth Games comes to Birmingham in August 2022, and with it comes a pilot for esports on DotA 2, eFootball and Rocket League. A first of its kind pilot at the Commonwealth Games, a successful run could lead to esports being regularly included in the event. The media has widely covered early announcements of the pilot, and if that’s anything to go by, this summer could be the start of a golden expansion of the industry.
Any expansion inevitably means more jobs. There are already a wealth of direct and indirect roles supporting esports and wider success will require more people. Expect roles in competing, broadcasting, marketing, merchandising, events logistics and management, lighting and stage management, administration and many, many other areas.
And just like esports and sporting competition, the better prepared you are, the more likely you are to find yourself working your dream job in this thriving industry. That’s where we come in with our Esports Management Level 3 course here at ACC. Developed to cover all the key areas of the sector like marketing, broadcasting etc, we’re not here to teach you how to play games. We’re here to bring you a bespoke, industry-ready curriculum, combined with our decades of experience in educating future creators to get you equipped to capitalise on esports in whichever area you want to go into.
Check out what we have to offer you here. If you like what you see and want to experience first-hand what you could be doing in September, meet our staff and find out more about why we’re the best choice for you, you can also sign up for our open day on July 5th at 6 PM.
Get in the game right here at Access Creative College.