The Rise of eSports: Why Gaming is Becoming Mainstream Entertainment

“oGsTOP” (CC BY 2.0) by joo0ey

Online gaming is big business, we all know that. However, what you might not know is that it’s now big business in a number of ways.

Yes, if you’ve ever played a game like CS:GO, you’ll know that it’s an extremely exciting way to while away the hours. In fact, when you look at the numbers, CS:GO has had a rapid rise to prominence in the gaming community. Indeed, the Steam network has reported an average monthly player base of more than 300,000 since the summer of 2015.

When you take a broader view of the gaming community and look at the revenue all types of games are bringing in, you can see even more clearly how the industry is booming. According to the latest stats from SuperData Research, gaming generated $91 billion in 2016 with eSports noted as one of the rising stars within the industry.

Why You Should Get On The eSports Bandwagon

Essentially, if you’re into computers and you haven’t yet jumped on the eSports bandwagon, you’re missing out on a wealth of new entertainment. eSports streams are now dominating the largest social media sites. Twitch has long been the leader when it comes to streaming live CS:GO events, but it’s now facing stiff competition from the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

In May 2017, Facebook agreed a deal with ESL to stream thousands of hours of eSports content via its platform. Similarly, Twitter has agreed to stream 1,500 hours of eSports competitions, including ESL One, Intel Extreme Masters and DreamHack. In addition to broadcasting established events to millions of web and mobile users, Twitter will be used as a platform to test out original content, including eSports focused shows.

Extra-Curricular eSports Entertainment

Beyond the growth of live streaming, eSports betting is now also taking off. Although a far cry from the way fans can bet on traditional sports, the industry is starting to grow. In fact, as a casual gaming fan, it’s now easier than ever to learn the basics and add some extra spice to a major eSports event. Instead of jumping straight into the action, fans can learn how to bet on CS:GO and the like by visiting a strategy focused site. Offering a similar service to news and review sites in the traditional sports betting world, eSports betting portals now give newbies a complete guide to the industry and how to join in. From an overview of CS:GO as a game to the ways you can bet and where to go for the best odds, these sites essentially offer a gateway into the world of eSports betting.

eSports is Going Mainstream

In addition to more live streams and the growth of eSports betting, we’re now seeing major brands and popular figures jump on the eSports bandwagon. Take, for instance, Team Liquid. Comprised of leading gamers such as Mark Schlappi, the team has attracted a number of major sponsors, including HTC, Monster Energy and Alienware.

On top of big name brands getting into eSports, big name stars are also into the action. From superstar musician Steve Aoki and basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal to Ashton Kutcher and Mark Cuban, America’s fave celebs have become avid gamers and eSports fans.

So, what does all this mean? Well, put simply, eSports is evolving into a major industry. As more companies jump on the bandwagon and opportunities arise for people to get into the action, the profile of competitive eSports will continue to grow. With this being the case, it would be crazy for any computer nerd to ignore what’s in front of us. Yes, gaming as a whole is big business. However, thanks to eSports, it looks set to become even bigger in the coming years.

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