The Future of Esports, what does it have in store for us?

Esports Central – Episode 6

There’s a saying, “the future is bright” and this couldn’t be truer for esports. If you haven’t seen our latest episode on Esports Central make sure you check it out here.

This week we look at some exciting issues, but the one I wanted to focus on is the future. The past few weeks we’ve spoken about topics such as sporting organisations buying teams, and studying esports at uni, so it comes at a timely manner to start talking about the future of the industry.

We started with games

What games are going to make it to the big leagues next? Max pointed out that platform fighters are the original esports. Well, I see them making a come back. As I mentioned in the episode, they are fun, colourful, easy to consume, and quick to watch. Anyone can pick up a controller and play, and in today’s time poor-society, they could very easily be watched on the go.

Nintendo sees the new Super Smash Bros as their leg up into the esports market. (Image credit: Daily Star)

Speaking of time poor, I like Kale’s predictions on mobile gaming. As Kale mentioned it’s much more accessible than buying a whole PC. I see it as a way to target the mainstream market with everyone having a phone in their pockets and able to play during lunch breaks or on the train. Even games like Shadowverse should come into the fray with Heartstone most likely leading the charge on turn-based card games.

We didn’t get time to talk about it in the episode, but with big sporting organisations buying up teams and getting involved, I think games like FIFA, Gran Turismo, NBA2K, and the like will definitely become larger parts of the esports pie moving forward. I’m very excited to see what motorsport will do in this area.

Motorsport games are in a unique position where the skills required for real racing are similar to that of the virtual kind. Recently we’ve seen the Harvey Norman Forza Challenge, Nissan’s GT Academy, and more recently the F1 all joining the esports bandwagon. And with the potential to recruit gamers into the driver’s seat, it’s no wonder almost every Formula 1 team is on board.

It’s going to be very exciting to see how all these governing bodies play their cards! I think we might even see some MotoGP coming to the party soon.

Events for Tournaments

Events will become bigger and better too. The larger the events, the bigger and more prominent tournaments become. Rather than simply having a big stage show like IEM, large events like PAX and EB Expo should see huge tournaments played alongside cosplay competitions, table top gaming, interactive displays, and launches of new games of patches. This is definitely a big area to look out for and something that is already happening in Australia.

These big event organisations will (and are) pushing the boundaries of what’s capable. With new technology at the forefront, and challenging the realms of possibility, it makes sense that esports will sit alongside the tech industry as leaps and bounds are made. We’re already seeing the ground work laid for these things to come into play, such as the Hoyts and Gfinity partnership, and BlizzCon and DreamHack only becoming bigger each year.

Advertising to the Masses

Advertising is another huge part of the future of esports, and probably the most untapped area. As the audience grows and becomes more mainstream, broader companies will be involved. We’ve already got a huge bulk of companies investing in the area. With this comes almost unlimited opportunities for advertising. Kale shared with us this fantastic graphic that shows the next level in brand involvement.

(Image credit: Jordan Fragen)

Not only can advertising be placed on physical items such as player jerseys, banners, signage, posters, flags, and merchandise, but sponsors have the potential to reach the virtual world with in game placements, logos, banners, posters, characters, and more available to change.

However, advertising is only as big as it’s market. The big dollars come from advertising where there is a large, engaged audience. You only get an engaged audience when the content they are consuming is top notch. Broadcasting therefore, is one of the key areas in esports and has huge potential moving forward. We’re leaving this topic for next week’s discussion so make sure you tune in.

What do you think are the growing areas of esports? Let me know and I’ll try to cover them all off in the next post.

Hope you’ve been enjoying the episodes!


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