The trends will contribute to the increased growth and monetization of the e-sports sector in India
The pandemic’s occurrence in 2020 upturned our lives. While it affected almost all businesses, for the e-sports industry, on the contrary, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The sector witnessed a huge growth owing to the work from the home concept coupled with the execution of the lockdown.
In the year 2021, the industry continues to grow significantly. Experts believe that the e-sports market will continue to grow in the post Covid times as well. As reported by Insider Intelligence, the total e-sports viewership is expected to grow at a 9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2019 and 2023, up from 454 million in 2019 to 646 million in 2023.
Various factors will contribute in driving the growth of the e-sports industry. Have a glimpse at the key 5 trends that will primarily shape the future of the sector in the post Covid era-
1. Live streaming in viewership
While Covid-19 was contributing majorly to the growth of the industry, the live stream of e-sports is the recent trend and will pick up pace in the coming times. This has been possible with the emergence of multiple streaming platforms which enable both amateurs/ pro-gamers/ Tournament Organizations to stream their gaming content in real-time. Doing so, they are not only able to share their talent with the world along with earning an income but they also build a loyal fan base and a distinct brand image of their own.
The consumption of the live stream content is rising thereby increasing its popularity. It is anticipated that the gamers will aim to target a huge audience base via the live streaming platforms. Additionally, regional language-based live steaming will also pick up pace and on the whole; all these trends will lead to increased viewership numbers. In a recent survey conducted by The E-sports Club, 46% of Gamers watch only Gaming Content while an additional 38% watch both traditional sports and gaming content. No wonder E-sports is the fastest growing entertainment phenomenon.
2. Increase in prize pools
The rewards and the prize pools are other major drivers of the e-sports sector in India. With the increase in content consumption and viewership, an increase in prize pools will eventually be the need of the hour.
Be it an individual or squad-based tournament, gamers have been able to earn lakhs of rupees just by acing one particular game and tournament. It will also offer various benefits and opportunities to the gamers who are quite serious about the industry and wish to pursue their journey of electronic sports.
In fact, it is also expected that owing to the hefty rewards, many gamers have considered dedicating themselves to the e-sports industry full time and taking it up as a viable career option.
3. Inculcating e-sports at educational institutions
The US along with various European countries initiated the inculcation of e-sports at the high school and college levels, especially during the pandemic. In the post lockdown times, the social distancing norms continue to be followed. Hence, the e-sport communities and academic institutions are attempting to come up with innovative ways to educate and entertain students through e-sports which is one of the fastest-growing sectors.
Various educational firms have already initiated the process of preparing a curriculum and building communities around e-sports and video gaming arenas. They are also looking forward at organizing in-house tournaments and matches so as to boost the growth of the industry and utilize its potential optimally along with creating a cohesive environment.
Owing to the increasing trend of adoption of e-sports at the collegiate level, it won’t be a surprise if there will be dedicated e-sports colleges and courses, the availability of hand-picked coaches and trainers along with e-sports clubs and teams.
4. Increased support from venture capitalists
Owing to the growth and recognition of the e-sports sector, the industry is garnering a lot of attention at the global level. Various electronic sports firms from abroad are entering the Indian market and it is also witnessing increased investments. Since it is one of the dynamically growing verticals, the Indian e-sports sector has grabbed the attention of various venture capitalists. They are keen to invest massive amounts in the industry understanding the growth and the potential of the sector in the Indian market.
5. Technological developments
Technology will alter the working and the user experience of the segment in India. State-of-the-art technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data will be adopted and will be used to measure and gather data on e-sports athletes’ performance, their interaction with the audience, and their gaming journey. The technological solutions will also help in enhancing the user experience and will aid in accordingly conceptualizing better strategies to boost the e-sports ecosystem.
Various brands are also stepping forward to collaborate with gamers in the e-sports space. They are not only running paid ads but are also scouting for creative solutions to promote their brand and services via in-game promotions, sponsorship deals with recognized e-sports players and teams. The industry will also continue to receive financial assistance from the capitalists and will proliferate via brand collaborations and advertisements. These trends will contribute in the increased growth and monetization of the e-sports sector in India. They will re-define the industry and will collaboratively contribute in driving the growth of the sector and pave the way for a promising future of the e-sports industry especially in the post-Covid times.
The Author is Ishaan Arya, Co-Founder, The Esports Club