Esports is a multiplayer video game played competitively for spectators, typically by professional gamers. People who love sports and games would love to see this industry grow.
Esports has turned into a very broad industry with companies competing to reach greater audiences around the world. Sports entertainment has been the source of great innovation as well as lucrative brand partnerships. The industry has been transformed into a central form of entertainment worldwide, assembling one billion US Dollars in revenue for the first time in 2019.
Media businesses are contributing significantly to the esports industry with companies like NBC or ESPN engaging and enhancing the sports business model. According to Forbes, some of the top Esports companies include Cloud9, Team SoloMid, Team Liquid, Echo Fox, OpTic Gaming, Fnatic.
While this industry has witnessed exponential growth, Covid-19 has disrupted events with most companies cancelling their games such as TJ Sports’ League of Legends Pro (LPL).
An unlimited pause for LCK‘s spring split was also announced by Riot Games. Riot Korea said: “Due to the on-growing Corona19, and to ensure the members of the league’s safety, we have decided to have the LCK and Challengers Korea go on an indefinite hiatus. Currently, we do not have a set return date, and will keep a close eye on the epidemic to choose the appropriate date of return.”
However, companies have succeeded in turning games to virtual mode. TJ Sports continued matches online after players went into quarantine. If they are not under quarantine, the players attend matches at their club headquarters, and on-site referees will ensure fair play.
In addition, major sporting events were cancelled such as Formula 1, NASCAR, NFL and the NBA, and they all went virtual. Before Formula 1 resumed its activities, it was replaced by a Virtual Grand Prix Series with F1 drivers together with celebrities and special guests from the Esports and gaming platforms, competing on the F1 2019 game.
The Esports segment has undoubtedly experienced rapid growth because of the cancellation of sporting events around the world which has led to an increase in the industries’ popularity and fan base.
One of the countries taking advantage of this unique entertainment alternative is Malta who launched its ‘Vision for Video Game Development and Esports’ in May 2019. This move aims to transform the country into a central European hub for esports and game development.