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Gametech: Predictions for eSports Growth in 2022

This February, The Fintech Times is taking a deep dive into the world of gametech. Grab your headsets and controllers and tune in to hear about the latest tech and celebrities influencing the market to the development of eSports and much more.

There are huge opportunities for the eSports market in 2022 as it is expected to reach revenues of almost $1.6billion by 2023, increasing from just $776million in 2018. The Fintech Times reached out to experts across the industry to get their predictions on how the sector will change:

Tim Thornton, Growth Lead of Swarmio Media
Tim Thornton, Growth Lead of Swarmio Media

Tim Thornton, Growth Lead of Swarmio Media

“The future of eSports is looking brighter than ever with titles across the world remaining strong, despite the challenges covid-19 has brought over the last two years. As we continue to see restrictions on social gatherings lift, we believe that bigger and better in-person tournaments will quickly start to emerge. Very soon we expect to witness these events parallel what we see today in traditional sports in terms of mainstream fan adoption. Tournaments will be held in large stadiums globally, attract tens of thousands of fans, and be broadcasted on major sports networks.

“Today the big opportunities for leaders who fear they are ‘late’ to the eSports party lies in the mobile competitive gaming space. In regions such as Asia, Africa, and South America, we are witnessing immense growth in mobile player adoption. Of course, this directly correlates to increased spend with in-game purchases. Specific titles such as Call of Duty: Mobile, Free Fire, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Arena of Valor and PUBG Mobile have experienced a significant surge in recent years.

“In contrast, North American gamers have over two decades of history in eSports using primarily traditional technologies such as PCs or consoles. In these regions, widespread adoption of mobile gaming is still yet to be fully realised.

“With the ease of access to mobile games becoming faster, more reliable, and more affordable, the eSports space will only continue to grow. The entire industry will continue to innovate and strategically leverage emerging technologies to better compete for the top spot as the very best.”

Lucas Stolze, Managing Director of ExitLag

“2020 and 2021 were big years for eSports, with the pandemic and people being restricted at home many people started to either play or watch games. eSports is the fastest growing sport on the planet right now and we predict that will continue to grow.

“Especially in the US where the gaming scene lags when compared to other regions like Europe and Asia, we are seeing a higher adoption of eSports. Europe and Asia already have big markets for eSports and tournaments and now the US is catching up on to them with dedicated investments and attention to this industry. Colleges are starting to create their own professional teams and we will soon start to see the college leagues being as engaged in eSports as the traditional sports competition. I believe 2022 holds a lot of growth to the eSports with more investments being directed to the gaming industry allowing further development of companies and partnerships between well-known brands and gaming teams.”

Bradley Beal, Event Manager at BADASS Studios and founder of BADASS University All Stars
Bradley Beal, Event Manager at BADASS Studios and founder of BADASS University All Stars

Bradley Beal, Event Manager at BADASS Studios and founder of BADASS University All Stars

“Covid-19 has shown a lot of growth for eSports with everyone having more time at home, the DOTA 2 finals this year had a concurrent viewership of almost 2.75 million people, with independent viewership being over 50 million for the final game alone. League of Legends worlds finals reached over 70 million concurrent viewers, beating some major sports titles.

“2022 is still going to see the same growth for the scene as more become used to it being a sport and more recognised.”

Christian Konczal, Director of Esports at Champlain College

Christian Konczal, Director of Esports at Champlain College
Christian Konczal, Director of Esports at Champlain College

“I am certainly not alone in viewing the future of eSports as explosive. I think that mobile gaming and blockchain technologies are poised to disrupt our industry on a massive scale, both in terms of the degree of participation and through revenue generation for producers and consumers alike.

“I’ve often been told that one of the reasons soccer is so ubiquitous around the world is due in part to the ease of entry; all you really need to get started are people to play with and a ball-shaped object that isn’t painful to kick. With the rapid expansion of smartphones and 5G technologies, we are quickly finding ourselves in a similar situation, because while only about half of the worldwide population has access to a PC at home nearly 80 per cent have a personal smartphone. This in part is why we are seeing developers creating mobile versions of their competitive games. PUBG, Fortnite, Call of Duty, even League of Legends and Rocket League all have mobile offerings and I will not be surprised when those competitions start becoming more mainstream to the eSports community.

“When it comes to blockchain technologies I won’t go too deep into the weeds, because even though I view the current market as speculative at best I am very intrigued by the potential some aspects of it have in relation to its intersection with my world. Monetisation of digital cosmetics within games is integral to their ongoing development and support, and while there is a constant battle being waged between consumers and publishers in terms of what the market will stomach I think we all have accepted that microtransactions are here to stay. The ability to tokenise those assets will open up more avenues for revenue generation to the benefit of all involved parties; smart contracts can dictate that the publisher receives a percentage of each transaction in perpetuity, and consumers will be able to sell their unwanted items to other users. Expand that
thought into the realm of streaming and competition and I believe there will be an insane demand for the ownership of intangible assets. Imagine being able to own and prove authentic ownership of the item your favourite streamer won in a tournament the same way Football fans can proudly frame and hang the jersey that their favourite quarterback wore for a match. It sounds verifiably silly to some, but when you consider just how large the traditional sports memorabilia market is and the amount being spent on account-bound digital cosmetics currently, I see a huge opportunity for the future of eSports.”

Roger Caramanica, Ph.D. Program Chair, Gaming and eSports Management Post University
Roger Caramanica, Ph.D. Program Chair, Gaming and eSports Management Post University

Roger Caramanica, Ph.D. Program Chair, Gaming and eSports Management Post University

“Interest in gaming and esports is at an all-time high and it will continue to grow in the new year. I also expect the industry to begin regulating and moving away from its reputation as the ‘wild, wild west,’ in terms of investing and private equity venture capital infusions.

“I also think we are going to continue to see continued rapid growth in esports at the collegiate level, both in competitive leagues and academic programs. It’s very normative at this point for colleges to have a varsity esports team. If a school doesn’t field one now, they’re working on it because students are demanding it.

“Another big challenge for esports will continue to be the constant introduction of new games and the vetting of these entrants for competitive play. For example, Halo has had a storied competitive scene that waned over the years. With the new release of Halo Infinite, colleges are already asking ‘Do we field a team?’

“I also expect universities to lean heavily into gaming academic programs as today’s high school students are highly interested in this as a profession. Within the next five years, I predict most institutions will have at least one gaming course, and I think we will see many colleges and universities with a minor, concentration, or full degreed programs. The ones that are successful will partner within the industry to provide career opportunities for their graduates, create paths into the field and continue modifying their coursework to align with the industry standards.”

Author

  • Francis is a journalist with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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