Even though eSports can’t be catalogized as a recent discovery, it is true that the impact of this industry and its growing rate has increased drastically in the last few years. We’ve been hearing year after year that this is the year of eSports, from Forbes to industry specialists like NewZoo they all state the incoming year will be greater than the last one and it’s not a mistake! we are witnessing a golden age for these disruptive kinds of sports and off course the forecast for eSports in 2017 is very promising.
As the number of fans increases the number of tournaments, events, sponsorships and the industry, in general, keeps growing. According to Forbes, professionals of eSports are looking for different ways to incentivize all kind of gamers to these sports, in latest years we have seen great gamers and teams to position themselves and win tournaments of the most famous eSports, however the industry is looking to attract more gamers and not only active professional gamers, being more specific; industry investors look to attract new gamers and occasional gamers that use to be active and then absent from the industry for a while, as eSports are a very dynamic and innovative industry it has been hard for beginners and occasional gamers to keep it to the top and participate in tournaments but the industry is actually evolving to more inclusive events to obtain larger amounts of participants and also fans.
One of the main drivers of the eSports growth are the attractiveness of tournaments, seen mostly like the prizes and the prize pool distribution among participants every year events attract more participants with bigger prizes, a great example of this phenomenon is Dota 2 that for two consecutive years they have broken records in prizes given in eSports, in 2016 the first place of “The International” went home with 9 million dollars and the expectations for 2017 are huge. As said before prizes are becoming more attractive not only for the first 3 places as it usually happens in traditional sports, several eSports tournaments reward until the 15th place and this trend is having a significant impact in the world of video games, as players feel more motivated to enter in an event even when they feel they won’t get the first place.
As in any other sport, the innovation is key to success, and eSports have it very clear; we are seeing in 2017 great innovations in several aspects of the events, tournaments, and video games in general. In one hand, tournaments bring innovative and challenging dynamics for their events that encourage gamers to kip their gaming to its best and in the other hand the world of video games present innovations for spectators that at the end of the day represent the biggest earning channel of this industry, there are new platforms and ways of interaction for spectators that are looking for new ways of interacting with video games as viewers.
There are several categories of eSports and there are options for all gamer preferences, some will prefer fighting or sport related games meanwhile others prefer Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games, however even when we all have one predilect game there’s a tendency among gamers to play new games to try their playing skills and develop different strategies improving their gamer profiles, this upcoming trend of “polyvalent” gamers will be one of the drivers of the growth of eSports this year as the number of participants in different tournaments will increase.
Finally, there’s a growing number of video games that has great eSport potential that are entering in this industry and that surely will mark a boost of eSports in 2017. One of the bigger and greater examples of new releases is Overwatch, this game brought by Blizzard was released in May 2016 and since its beginning, it has rapidly grown in popularity and currently has several tournaments in place with very attractive prizes. There are two other great promises for this year that currently still in beta are gaining much popularity and we should keep it under the radar for their eSport potential; Paragon is a MOBA from Epic Games that seems to have exciting potential for big tournaments, and Law Breakers have gain media’s attention due to an innovative gravity defying playing mode that promise to be a challenging game for eSports.