How big is Esports?

Everyone wants to make money doing things that they love; the reality is that many people do not get to make a career out of their passion because there is little interest in their skill set. With new technology and electronic games coming out, there is a new opportunity for people who love video games. Esports is quickly becoming a huge market capable of sustaining many people’s main source of income.

Looking on YouTube, viewers can find casual gameplay channels for any game they want to watch. Gaming is one of YouTube’s most popular categories that had over 100 billion watch time hours in 2020. A few of the highest producing channels have over 1 million subscriptions; the income from YouTube makes it possible for these creators to make video games their full-time job. Many of these YouTube creators also stream on Twitch for extra revenue. Even though the majority of their content is casual gameplay, some of these creators are also Esports athletes.

Colleges are starting to take notice of this new market and have even begun putting funds in to support it. One of the most notable ways that a college can support a young athlete is through scholarship; notable colleges such as the University of Utah and Valparaiso University have started awarding scholarships to a select few. Even ATU has built computer labs dedicated to their Esports.

Colleges are not the only people who want to support the young athletes; major companies have started to sponsor Esport teams and players. Esports have received sponsorship from companies such as Redbull, Pepsi’s Mountain Dew, Honda, Mercedes Benz and more. Even Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, has begun to sponsor Esports athletes. Sponsors will send their Esports athletes gaming equipment and products for free; the athletes also receive money for any advertisements that they do.

A great way for Esports athletes to generate mass amounts of revenue is through tournaments. Esports tournaments have huge prize pools that can contain millions of dollars’ worth of prize money. Fortnite’s World Cup is one of the biggest gaming tournaments and has a prize pool of 30 million dollars. Even the lesser-known tournaments may boast a thousand-dollar first prize. Athletes winning a tournament could make enough money to last them the entire year, but athletes who fall short should not worry because there are hundreds of tournaments throughout the year.

If the trend continues, Esports will continue to grow in popularity and could even become as popular as mainstream sports. From YouTube popularity to being backed by some of the biggest companies in the world, Esports athletes have the opportunity to become part of a big market. Gamers can now turn their passion for video games into their careers.