The eSports Industry Continues to Have Explosive Growth
Back when a multi game arcade was the latest invention in the gaming industry, it would have been hard to predict that someday there would be such an occupation as a “professional gamer.” But today, the eSports industry has grown by exponential margins, with the worldwide market projected to grow to $1.9 billion in 2018.
The entire eSports industry is built on one thing, similar to other types of sport leagues: skill. When the top talent dominates, the industry makes money, and this is worthy of a reward. Much like the traditional student athlete can earn a free education through achievement, that is now becoming the reality for eSports gamer athletes.
KontrolFreek, a video game retailer, is now offering 10 different college scholarships for those who excel at both academics and competitive online video gaming. Top League of Legends players can win up to $19,000 in room and board at Robert Morris University. Also, if a gamer wins the “Heroes of the Storm” tournament, they can win three years of free tuition.
eSports is expanding every day, and it doesn’t just involve college scholarship money. Ever heard of Alisher Usmanov? He is the co-owner of the London-based Arsenal football club. He’s also a Russian billionaire. He is one of many who believe that eSports will soon rival other sports in terms of revenue.
He invested $100 million in eSports and his efforts are about to come to fruition. The company he backs, known as ESforce, is hosting its first major tournament in May. The prize pool is projected to be $500,000. It is also building an arena in Moscow for future competitions, spending $5 million on the venture. Usmanov bet right: the sport is growing by leaps and bounds in eastern Europe, and he is going to reap major profit.
Maybe you don’t know Usmanov, but you’ve probably heard of NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal. Both he and fellow former NBA player Rick Fox have invested in eSports. Amazon bough Twitch, the online game broadcast channel, for $970 million in 2014. Many individuals and companies alike are getting on the eSports bandwagon. Are you?