Entering the Golden Age of eSports
With professional gamers receiving huge endorsement deals as well as six-figure salaries and the whole industry being valued over half a billion dollars already, we might just be entering the Golden Age of eSports.
With financial success, a shift in attention from a multitude of companies, whole industries and even governing bodies inevitably follows.
Colleges and High-Schools in the U.S., and Europe now offer eSports scholarships and even education pathways. Becoming an e-athlete suddenly became a valid career choice.
More and more Sports-news outlets, like theScore Inc. started reporting on eSports as an integral part of their contemporary journalistic portfolio.
Recently, traditional German domestic Soccer Clubs like VfL Wolfsburg and Schalke’04 are seeking to diversify their assets across this emerging sports paradigm, which so far remains largely untapped in mass media.
With the advent of these acquisitions – not just FIFA teams as a somewhat natural thematic annex, mind you, but also LoL, CS:GO, DOTA2 and Overwatch – these clubs have set a strong sign that they take the subject matter in its entirety very seriously. Of course, these investments do not go unnoticed by tv-stations, media outlets and the like. Subsequently, broadcasting and journalism are eager to tap into new revenue streams.
For eSports this presents a chance to cross-pollinate domestic soccer fans and introduce them to an aspect of their favorite competitive sport they might not have been aware of yet – something that successfully happened with Fantasy Sport Leagues before.
‚That’s all fine and dandy, but what does this mean for me?‘, you may ask.
Well, dearest streamer, this means that something major changed. For the first time, eSports content is gaining a foothold in mass media – a threshold that has never been exceeded in this capacity before. With Fox Sports broadcasting FIFA finals and Sky being a first mover by announcing a 24/7 eSports channel, a precedent has been set.
All of a sudden the notion of YOUR channel being broadcast nationally – or even internationally, for that matter – does not dwell in the realm of impossibilities anymore.
It’s merely a matter of reach, visibility and of course time, until major media broadcasting companies’ awareness of what is an undoubtedly enormous potential of licensing deals and (ad-)revenue reaches critical levels. Revenue, that has been slumbering solely in the internet, until now.
It’s a time of change – traditional Sports and eSports are slowly but steadily beginning to tread common ground, both in terms of financial and cultural relevance.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your trusty streaming analytics tools – and whatever you do, remember:
Lenn from vAudience, 7/16