The year 2020 marked history with the rise of Covid 19 infections globally. Travel restrictions, lockdown, and other new rules and restrictions affected every sport. Physical sports were hugely affected due to the social distance and lockdown regulations. Esports, on the other hand, run smoothly as their physical counterparts shut their doors. The influence of esports grew with Covid 19 pandemic so much that bookmakers included online sporting events in the casino markets.
Over the last decade, the esports industry has enjoyed exponential growth. According to e-Sports UK, the sector has topped the 2020 global revenue with at least $950.3 million, and the customer base has grown to a tune of 450 million people. By 2024 the industry is projected to have a growth of up to $1.185 billion.
There are three notable effects of Covid 19 on the esports sector:
- The pandemic has increased the esports and video games user engagements.
- Most gaming companies can now account for profits since the pandemic began.
- Existing trends within the gaming industry are accelerating since the pandemic started.
Covid-19 Has Boosted Engagement with Community
The gaming industry has come to the forefront to support community initiatives on mitigation of the effects of Covid-19. At times, the esports sector results in a gambling problem. However, the pandemic has revealed it as a sector that engages positively with the community. Esports engage with community initiatives like charitable pledges, donations of surplus computation power, and surplus funds.
Computation power is essential in the pandemic era to help researchers understand the virus better, especially with its recent mutations. Response funds donated by the esports sectors help children at risk of contracting the virus and workers affected by the pandemic.
Boost to Esports
Esports are typical home activities. Most sportsbooks, for instance, have reported increased signups during the pandemic era. Nintendo and Tencent, both Asian renowned esports companies, saw increased sales in the first quarter. Nintendo alone reported having sold more than half of its games, a move which boosted profits by an astounding 41%. Tencent revenue, on the other hand, has been approximated to increase by 31 percent. There are reports of new games released during the pandemic season doing much better than others do in standard times.
Other engagement metrics tell the same story if you thought sales and downloads in isolation do not accurately represent the market operation. Verizon, a renowned digital company, reported a 12% growth in digital video traffic, 20% in web traffic, and 75% in gaming traffic. It seems most people are looking into esports as an avenue to make extra cash during the pandemic indoors status and a pass-time activity. StreamLabs have also reported a 20% growth in web traffic in Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming.
Lockdown shut most traditional sports in the world. This move lead to the cancellation of most traditional sports meaning the only option to enjoy your favorite games and place a bet is through esports and esports betting. 2020 was a rare opportunity for the esports market to rise amidst the cries. Due to high levels of anxiety, more people continue to turn to gaming for relaxation.
Esports Have Embraced New Technology
Change is a significant reason why many companies close down. If you cannot catch up and adapt to changes in the economy, you are likely to be left behind. The Covid pandemic brought a need for the esports industry to reinvent itself. The industry is well known for implementing innovative technology to grow and remain steady in the market. The sport offers excellent streaming options for fans all over the world.
Traditional sports leagues have discovered the impact of embracing esports. It is the only way to survive in these pandemic times. NASCAR, for instance, has started hosting online races and has since then received 1.3 million total viewers through Fox and FS1. FIFA ePremier League and F1 Virtua Grand Prix Series have also realized the benefits of embracing esports.
Stats Showing a Growth for Esports Market
Many researchers and publications are looking into the esports world. PwC recently received findings that at least two-thirds of people under 35 were either watching or playing the gaming content in the lockdown times.
Setbacks in the Market
Esports growth in the pandemic has not come without changes. Games are, however, played online, but live events are the most important in esports. Lives events can include music events and performances, both for activity and merchandise, football among others. They bring a lot of excitement to viewers from home.
The pandemic came along with the cancellation of many pre-planned events. Regrettably, hosting companies had made payments to these events; the event cancellations meant millions of dollars in lost revenue. This loss may be a minor hit for one company but globally, its millions of losses in the industry.
This is a list of some of the events canceled with the impact of the pandemic:
- East Coast Throwdown 2020
- Fortnite World Cup 2020
- Summer Game Fest
- ESL One Birmingham
- EVO 2020 Online
- Capcom Pro Tour 2020
- China’s League of the Legends Pro League
- Dota 2 International 2020
Some of the above events continued but not as planned, whereas others did not happen; however, the logistics change impacted the entire industry. Global lockdowns affected their gaming capacity extensively. It was hard for companies that took time to adapt, not to mention the millions of dollar losses they made.
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