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Common Truths and Myths about the Growth of eSports

eSports have come a long way. As I discussed in my latest episode of Anstandig on the Future, the very first eSports match was a competition for a magazine subscription and beer.

Now, according to New Zoo’s Global eSports and Live Streaming Market Report, the 2023 projected revenue of eSports is 1.6 billion dollars.

An industry experiencing such phenomenal growth bears opportunity for not only media companies, but for other companies as well – particularly in an advertising and marketing role.

As eSports continue to boom, let’s look at some of the common ideas associated with eSports and decide whether they are a MYTH or the TRUTH!

Idea 1: All eSports viewers are men

Fact-check: MYTH.

This is far from the truth. In fact, the current gender split is about 70-30%, men-to-women, and that number continues to level out as more women are joining the eSports circle as both viewers and players.

Companies are taking strides to ensure that eSports are for everybody, regardless of gender. Several initiatives are underway, including Global Gaming Women and Women in Games.

On top of that, eSports is the only major sporting scenario where teams can be co-ed. Not only does that mean it’s in everybody’s best interest to seek out the best players regardless of gender, but a mixed team shows that gaming truly is for everybody.

Idea 2: The people investing in eSports are companies with money to burn on experiential ventures

Fact-check: MYTH

Another myth, and another that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Instead, almost the exact opposite is true here.

Many small brands are getting into eSports. A great example is Otter Pops popsicles, which invested in an Overwatch league and reignited interest in their brand with a younger audience.

If anything, eSports are probably more small-company friendly than any traditional marketing channels because they cost a fraction of the amount as something like a nationally-televised football game or major sporting event.

On top of that, audiences of eSports are younger and have disposable income… plus they’ll spend an average of 100 minutes watching the stream!

Idea 3: eSports tournaments don’t make money.

Fact-check: TRUTH.

While this might come as a surprise, this one is actually true.

It’s the ripple effect of tournaments that results in brand growth, game sells, and income. eSports make the most money when viewers go and buy the games for themselves, which is why companies keep hosting these tournaments.

They’re not a cash cow—they’re an investment in the brand!

What’s next with eSports?

Technology trends are all pointing toward an explosion in eSports. We see faster internet, the advent of 5G, growth in streaming popularity, cheaper gaming systems, and better mobile games as signs that the ever-growing market could boom very soon.

If you enjoyed these myths—all of which came from my newest episode of Anstandig on the Future—I hope you can give the rest of the show a listen and learn more about what this growth in eSports might mean for you.

While this is a fun blog, it’s only the tip of the iceberg of what I covered in the show. I hope you can listen and share your thoughts with me on Twitter, @anstandig or here on LinkedIn.


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