Over the past couple of decades, the world of eSports has grown at a good rate, with more players, viewers and competitions out there now than ever before. However, there is no doubt that during 2020 we have seen eSports take a really big step forward.
The Covid-19 pandemic halted the world for many people, and it changed many aspects of it. The sporting world came to a standstill, and although it is now recovering, it looks very different to the one we left back at the start of the year.
eSports never stopped, players can take each other on from their own homes, so they are safe and being socially distant.
That led to unprecedented coverage, and at one point, eSports was the only thing gamblers could bet on with their bookmaker.
Will this have an impact moving forward, and is this the push that the industry needs for its top players to become household names?
New Fans During Covid-19
The betting industry backs eSports and they offer markets on many different events, with live streams also available. During the pandemic they offered even more, and then this was propelled into the mainstream because at one point it was all they could offer.
Those leading the way gained new custom during this time with people signing up to their site just so they could place bets on eSports, taking advantage of free bet offers that were available.
The free bets have minimum & maximum odds attached to them so look at the terms and conditions when using your free wagers.
The key battle now is all about keeping those new fans interested. Other sports have started to appear, so competition is returning but if just a handful of people remain interested in eSports then these are fans that otherwise wouldn’t have come on board.
Gaining interest, retaining interest and lastly converting into fully fledged fans is a three-point system that the entire eSports industry needs to be working on.
Could Big Money Sponsorships be on the Horizon?
If you look at the latest video game releases, many of them are focused around mass-multiplayer gaming online against other players. That shows the power of eSports and also the kind of money involved in the industry.
This is all without a big name sponsor on board. This should be something the industry is on the lookout for. It may be a bookmaker, who pays something back in because of the service eSports gave them when nothing else was taking part, or it could be a TV company signing up to a deal.
Whatever it is, the vast majority of sports are unable to get anywhere without the backing of big sponsors to invest money. If eSports wants to challenge some of the traditional sports in terms of popularity then it needs to match them in cash, and that comes via sponsorship deals.
How Can eSports Open Up to New Fans?
One of the biggest criticisms of the eSports industry is their ability to open up and let new fans in.
It is great to see live streams on Twitch but if you are not someone who plays online games then you are not going to know anything about Twitch and what it provides.
What the world of eSports needs if it really wants to move forward and challenge traditional sports is a big TV deal. It needs to be one that puts eSports in front of people worldwide, rather than being tucked away in its own little corner.
This is a big key and a big part of the puzzle to unlock, do this and we could see the top eSports players become household names in the future.