In the early 1990s, nobody would even dare think that competitive video gaming can get to the proportions it has acquired today. Newzoo, a research and analytics company, has said that the industry is expected to be worth $970 million in 2020 alone. By 2023, this number should be closer to $1.45 billion.
There has been tremendous growth in esports, from professional organizations that run teams in dozens of games to sponsorship opportunities to mainstream teams endorsing esports both for the branding potential, but also exploring a lucrative new segment.
Jobs in places like Canada and the United States for esports professionals are some of the most desirable positions young people could have. Well-paid, highly-entertaining, and developing skillsets, being an esports professional is important.
However, esports jobs don't just boil down to being a talented player in Overwatch, Fortnite, or Dota 2. Social media managers, team coaches, well-being experts, sales, and acquisition executives are all part of the very fabric of the esports industry.
Esports: Not Just about the Teams and Players Any More
The fact that esports has turned into a multi-million industry is not a bad thing. It has opened many opportunities to anyone looking for an opportunity to pursue their hobby in an entertainment industry that is booming and is very likely to continue doing so unperturbed.
Being a professional player is of course a huge boon, but there are many supporting jobs these days that make sure that an esports organization is successful beyond the simple makeup of talented players in specific games.
Organizations such as Cloud9 and 100 Thieves are exceptionally good at branding themselves. 100 Thieves, for example, has attracted stars such as Drake and Imagine Dragons to help push the visibility of the brand and advertise it not just as a market niche reserved for gamers.
It's a way of life. League of Legends, for example, partnered with Louis Vuitton to release a line of limited luxury clothing that was well-received by the community and was bought out almost instantly.
Live Esports and Crowds Shifting to Physical Stadiums
One of the biggest challenges for the esports industry was to move people from behind their computers to physical locations. Would such a daring move have worked 20 years ago? It did, but gaming festivals were never considered esports.
However, with the arrival of the Overwatch League (OWL), there have been some substantial changes. Even in Canada, local OWL franchises have developed their physical presence by creating stadiums dedicated to fans.
The Vancouver Titans and Toronto Defiant are two of the most respected organizations in the league, but also some of the most popular esports teams in Canada. That is not surprising at all, given the pace of development of esports in the country.
There are dozens of well-salaried esports players and many esports organizations based in Canada that have achieved international recognition. You can read about Canadian eSport at Truenorthcasinos.ca where you can get down to the very nitty-gritty of the industry in Canada, the current level of engagement, number of gamers, and even how much Canadian esports players make!
Meanwhile, one thing remains certain. Esports fans are ready to show in physical locations and cheer for their beloved esports teams. From ESL to DreamHack, the ability of video game competitions to gather people has proven unstoppable.
League of Legends Worlds and The International have pulled in thousands of people to watch live. Stadiums are sold out because avid esports fans want to see the finals of the Call of Duty or Overwatch League, and the only thing stopping more people from turning up is the venues' capacity.
Esports Players Are Role Models
Esports players are role models and that's why the expectations from them are higher. You cannot see an esports player endorsing derogatory opinions anymore, as sponsors are strictly against that. More importantly, esports players have sponsorships that can run in the millions of dollars.
Tylor 'Ninja' Blevins has been able to amass a tremendous fortune all by playing Fortnite. His reported earnings are at least $1 million a month, but the actual number must be much, much higher. Not everyone can replicate Ninja's success story, but the very fact this is doable has inspired many people to try and make a career out of streaming.
Speaking of streaming, the size of the industry has grown tremendously. Video games have been quite cool for streaming purposes, but it wasn't until esports picked up that video gaming content went through the roof in terms of hours watched and streamed!