Esports in 2022
If you’d mentioned that you were a fan of this new-fangled concept called ‘esports’ ten years ago, you’d likely have been laughed out of the room. It was thought of as a passing fad; a trend, fuelled by basement-dwelling loners, desperate to make money playing video games.
Today, the esports industry is a dominating titan; an overwhelming powerhouse of value, entertainment, and excitement. In the last decade, the esports industry, from end-to-end, has undergone dramatic growth, and by 2024, it’s expected to be worth more than $2 billion.
Every year, the esports industry is both breaking and setting records. As a progressive, dynamic, and developing industry, esports has proven its ability to attract and retain millions upon millions of fans, not all of which are gamers themselves. At the highest level, esports tournaments can be worth tens of millions of dollars, boast untold opportunities for fans and players, and receive concurrent viewer counts that rival most traditional sporting events.
It’s a passionate business and the pool of players, organisations, sponsors, and platforms is richer than ever before – and growing. Whether you’re a League of Legends betting fan or an avid follower of top-tier Dota 2 tournaments like The International, there’s something in esports for everybody to enjoy.
In 2022, esports will continue to grow and reach new heights – and as an esports fan, you’re an integral part of that growth.
As we become a more digitalised civilisation on a global scale, industries like esports will continue to grow immeasurably. In recent years, we’ve seen an unstoppable boom in the popularity of both esports tournaments and gaming in general. It’s estimated that there are some 2 billion regular gamers around the world, across all platforms, proficiencies, and demographics.
There can be no doubting the growth and overall popularity of the esports industry. It’s such a strong vertical that top-tier investors and high-profile organisations have got involved, through the likes of investments, sponsorships, and the outright acquisition of gaming teams.
Today, some of the world’s hottest esports tournaments and leagues boast higher value overall than some traditional sports competitions. For instance, 2021’s The International boasted a prize pool worth more than $40 million – a world record for esports.
There are many players out there who have become multi-millionaires through competing at the highest level in esports. In 2022, more up and coming stars will join those lofty ranks, playing on the grandest stages in the industry.
For centuries – maybe millennia – we’ve seen evidence supporting the inherent competitiveness of the human race. There’s nothing that makes a person more passionate or excited than the prospect of competition, whether they’re a competitor themselves or an avid fan. This translates remarkably well into esports, which at its core is competitive, and at a foundational level, the fans know, love, and experience the very games they’re watching unfold before them.
Furthermore, esports as an industry is dramatically accessible. At any point, whether you’re watching a high-octane CSGO event or a top-tier Overwatch tournament, all you need to do is open a page on Twitch or YouTube. For the time being, almost every esports event in the world is free to watch and enjoy – meaning almost every single person on the planet has the ability to do so.
It’s definitely something to keep an eye on through 2022, as the unstoppable rise of both esports and gaming will give way to more high-profile competitions and opportunities.
A Personal Touch
As we’ve already said, esports is truly one of the most accessible industries in the world. If you’re good at a game, you can compete – it’s essentially that simple. It’s way more accessible than the highest echelons of top-tier sports like soccer and basketball, but the gaming superstars of the day can be just as recognisable as the hottest sports personalities.
Once upon a time, ‘esports events’ were nothing more than small-time, localised LAN parties. They would be hosted in homes, small studios, hired venues, and in the backs of video game stores. Today, they’re taking over venues like Madison Square Garden, the Beijing National Stadium, and the Spodek Arena in Katowice.
However, despite this insane growth (which is still ongoing in 2022), esports still has a grassroots feel to it – and that’s where the fans can truly connect. They understand that the players they’re watching were once upon a time like them – totally new to the game. They’re inspirational, and some of the top-tier gaming organisations boast millions of dedicated followers that are eager to represent them.
For instance, every year, FaZe, arguably the most recognisable brand in gaming, hosts contests to discover fresh, new talent. It’s open to every player in the world, and tens of thousands of gamers put in their application – and honestly, as long as you have the in-game skill, anybody can win.
Despite being millionaire gaming experts, the professional gamers of the esports world tend to remain accessible by default. Even the brightest stars in the industry connect with their community, often through streams, social media, and competitions. For the most part, the esports industry is made up of younger competitors, so the bulk of the audience – also young people – finds yet another way to connect with the players they’re spectating.
There are countless opportunities arising every day in the esports industry, and not just for players. As organisations and platforms grow, there are countless job openings popping up all around the world. These days, working in esports is as lucrative and sensible as stepping into any traditional industry.
The Future of Esports
The future of esports is a bright one – especially as we move into 2022. Every year, countless new titles are developed and released, and the top esports franchises still boast player counts in the millions. For instance, CSGO, Dota 2, and League of Legends top the charts in terms of overall player count, and they’re all several years old.
With the constant emergence of fresh titles, the world of esports can remain diverse and dynamic. Every year, there are new rulesets, competitions, prize pools, players, and teams that take to the grandest stages all around the world. It doesn’t stagnate, it doesn’t get boring, and it doesn’t stay the same.
As time goes on, the industry will continue to evolve, and other competitive titles will enter the landscape. It’s hard to know which of them will be the ‘next big thing’, and which will be a ‘flash in the pan’, but they all make an impact in some way, shape, or form.
What will your connection to the esports industry be in 2022? Will you take part in betting on the world’s hottest esports tournaments, or will you work your way up to potentially compete in them? Will you follow your favourite team onto the ultimate stage, or will you apply to become the next top esports presenter, commentator, developer, or journalist?
There’s a whole world out there, just waiting to be explored.
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