What next for mobile esports?

There is little denying the basic fact that most of the biggest esports take place on incredibly powerful PCs. Intel’s recent 3 year deal with ESL gave the esports tournament the chance to take advantage of the tech manufacturer’s high powered computer processors and 5G for their gaming contests. Whilst all of this is undoubtedly impressive, it doesn’t quite take in the fact that the majority of casual gamers like to play on their smartphones.

So what is the esports industry doing about catering to the demands of mobile gamers? A quick look at the majority of bookmakers featured on liveesportsbetting.com reveals no shortage of odds for PC titles like League of Legends, Counter Strike Global Offensive and Dota 2. But recently we have started seeing how iconic mobile games like Clash Royale have started to make an appearance in the competitive gaming realm.

Such news shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, as there are a reportedly 2.3 billion mobile gamers in the world and it would be a logical step for the dynamic esports industry to take account of this fact.

For many years, the divide in gaming quality between PC titles and mobile games has left mobile gaming out of the esports equation. But as smartphone technology improves, then we can expect the quality of mobile games improving satisfactorily enough for them to be considered as true spectator sports. We have already seen a good indication of where mobile esports could go with last year’s Clash Royale League World Finals.

This epic mobile gaming event took place in Tokyo in December 2018, and not only did it feature a massive crowd packed into the Makuhari Messe stadium, but the tournament was entered by no less than 25 million people across the planet. With many millions watching via YouTube Gaming livestreams, the Clash Royale League World Finals have proven that mobile esports could be a spectator sport.

It has already become evident that China’s esports scene has swiftly adapted to the mobile esport revolution. This can be seen through the incredible success of Tencent’s Honor of Kings which has become a valid mobile esport in the nation, and was even one of the six titles included for the recent Asian Games.

In fact, the SEA Games which takes place in the Philippines later in December will be the first traditional sporting event that features medals for esports, and two of these four medals will be for mobile esports titles including the likes of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.

It remains to be seen what other titles could break through into the mobile esports realm. Multiplayer tower defence games like Clash Royale are great fun to play, but it’s hard to see how successfully these games could cater to mainstream viewing audiences. Ultimately it’s the interactive nature of tournaments like the Clash Royale League World Finals that could signal the true success of mobile esports.

Whilst traditional esports like CSGO and LoL have already been taken over by established international superteams such as FaZe Clan, the mobile gaming realm is much more fluid and offers more to actual gaming fans. It’s something that has been noticed by many big players in the esports domain with ESL and AT&T recently partnering up to establish a new mobile esports league.

The ESL Mobile Open will include games like PUBG Mobile, Clash of Clans and Asphalt 9: Legends. With a decent prize pool of $330,000, it marks a significant move in the industry to cater to the demand for mobile esports. And with many more similar tournaments in the pipeline, it’s going to be fascinating to see where mobile esports goes from here.

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