TIME TO PUMP THE BREAK ON ESPORTS?
If you're an avid reader of everything sport related as I am, you may have come across numerous articles on the prominent rise of eSports. From reading headlines such as "eSports will top the NBA in revenue by 2020" to "Joe Montana invests in eSports" you'd think it'd be something that you can actually believe in right?
While I am a believer in eSports and the industry as a whole, they do have their obstacles ahead of them. eSports, on a global scale, is pretty new. Yes, LAN (Local Area Network) Parties have been around since the Stone Age, and MLG has been around for quite some time now, but how come we still don't see the big picture with eSports? The way I look at it is this way. Let's rewind a little back to the 2015-2016 NBA Finals where the Cleveland Cavaliers came back from a 3-1 deficit against the heavily favored Golden State Warriors. Game 7 comes, you best believe I'm going to sit back, and relax to watch possibly one of the most hyped games of all time. I'd invite my friends over to have some drinks, food for the sporting event of the year. Would anyone do that to watch a League of Legends final match?
Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok getting the final kill doesn't really match up to Kyrie Irving nailing the game winning 3 pointer over Steph Curry now does it? Now, I am a believer in eSports and the direction it's going in. I do believe at some point it will rival leagues such as the MLS and the NHL, but to think it will topple a giant such as the NBA? I don't think so.
However, for those that don't think it's a sport, or how they don't get how it's enjoyable to watch someone play a game you could just play... My question to you is; what's the difference? I watch Basketball, doesn't mean I can go out and drop 25 on a daily basis like Lebron James. Same goes for eSports! You watch because you're intrigued and you want to be entertained.
I think, the main goal for eSports is to find a route that will have them end up on TV regularly. Yes, you can watch games of FIFA, LoL, DOTA and more on ESPN sometimes if you're lucky, but unless you're a hardcore fan (which I'm not) you probably aren't going out of your way to catch a match.
Like I said, eSports is going in a great direction and it is definitely trending upwards. Not just in revenue sharing, but in popularity as well. Selling out arenas isn't some small feat, it takes a real product to do something of that magnitude. It also helps that seemingly everyday a new celebrity is investing money into the industry such as Joe Montana, Neymar, Shaq, Alex Rodriguez and more.
Comment below and share your thoughts!