The money and fan base in esports have ballooned so much that multiple independent league games such the ESL and Major League Gaming have been recognised internationally. Gaming developers and publishers have also sprung up to host events that help market their games. Opportunities in esports are very promising and they do have a great future as more companies and players set their eyes on the booming industry.
How E-Sports Has Grown Over Time
The history of e-sports can be traced to the Doom and the Street Fighter – some of the fighting and shooter games that were very popular in the 90s. At the time, tournaments were just humble fairs held in hotel ballrooms in front of a few fans. But the zeal for the online-based sports grew stronger as the world ushered in the new millennium. This was evident especially in South Korea where there was the provision of cheap and fast internet access.
Due to advancement in technology, online free-to-play multiplayer games have taken the e-sport industry by storm.For instance, as we speak, the League of Legends has an estimated number of 67 million monthly players. Gamers usually spend limitless amount of money on virtual goods in these games by buying special tools and powers. Today, slick producing and prize money have added an enchantment to most esports matches drawing in more and more enthusiasts. The internet has literally forged a tighter link between the players and the fans.
E-sport events and tournaments throughout the world has been increasing from year-to-year, something which has motivated some business-minded people to establish e-sports agencies. An esports agency is meant to cater for the growing needs of professionals gamers. Services offered by these agencies include professional gamer representation, sales, event management, marketing and corporate consulting.
Just like golfers and poker players, professional e-sports gamers travel around the world for prize money. Top gamers usually have a chance to monetize their celebrity status, and that’s where an eSports agency comes in. They stand on behalf of the gamer to negotiate sponsorships, appearances, licensing deals, event planning etc. These agencies lay their focus on the business side, allowing the gamer to practice and compete at the highest levels. Many companies responsible for holding tournaments prefer negotiating with agents because agents have a smoother, legal process. After all, agents only get paid when a deal is closed, so players have nothing to lose.
Challenges Facing E-Sports Players
The biggest challenge to players is finance. To travel around the world for prize money requires a lot of cash at hand. One needs to secure a sponsorship deal if he has to sail through without any problem. Another issue facing gamers is media companies who tend to limit their income producing opportunities. Once a gamer signs a deal with a media company, they’re often restrained on the types of sponsorship deals they can negotiate.
Most companies normally align themselves with an event rather than an individual player. This is for marketing reasons. This means that most professional players are not given a chance to negotiate on their own. But it’s good to know that companies have the right sponsorship language than the individual players.
To conclude, with more people playing and the stream numbers increasing, it’s expected that the e-sport industry will have a surging increase in viewership as well as live event attendance. Also, various games are being produced making the industry very competitive. Game the publishers and developers should evaluate the competitive aspect of the titles they are to release. A successful esports title enables a game to stay longer in the industry.