By 2020, global esports market revenue will reach 1.65 billion U.S. dollars and it is expecting to grow significantly in the coming years. There are also several esports trends to expect to happen in 2019.
Premium Passes Increase in Popularity
Premium passes gives audience additional content to enjoy their eSports watching experience. Fans will expect to pay extra for the passes to gain access to more premium contents. The premium contents can include behind-the-scenes videos, Q&A sessions with league players, optional view streams with different angles, and possibly in-game contents.
Znipe.tv, eSports streaming company has also partnered with ESL, DreamHack, and Face It to offer premium viewing experience unlike other platforms. They give viewers stream different camera angles based on viewers’ choice. Besides, users that subscribes to Twitch Prime will also be given free in-game content in Blizzard’s biggest games such as Overwatch, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm. Expect to see more of this eSports trends in 2019 as broadcasters seeks new models of monetization.
Esports Venue Increasing
As esports expects to reach 580 million audiences in 2020, more esports venues will need to meet the growing demands. More Investment in esports will be using to build dedicated eSports arena. The dedicated arena will not just accomodate big audiences, they will also be able to create a spectacular competitive game festival.
There are already numerous eSports arenas that are currently in construction and expect to open doors in 2019. One of them are Riot Games esports arena, LoL Park in Seoul, South Korea. Full Sail University’s $6 million U.S. dollar esports arena in Florida, USA. In Malaysia, the government is also in talks and consideration to build an esports arena to push and develop a professional eSports culture locally. We will expect to see more dedicated eSports venue in 2019.
Esports Athlete Featuring in Marketing Campaigns
As esports’s popularity increase, more esports athletes will feature in marketing campaigns and look upon as celebrities. This can already be seen in 2018, with Chinese professional League of Legends player Jian ‘Uzi’ Zihao appear in Nike’s marketing campaign. Similarly, Head & Shoulders and Gillette also featured Russian professional Dota 2 players in Russia. Besides eSports athletes, professional game streamer will also appear in commercials. Famous Fortnite streamer, Ninja, once appeared in a Samsung commercial.
Their popularity and fan following is beginning to follow the likes of a professional sports athlete. Companies could leverage on their popularity for their own marketing campaign and this is a trend to expect in 2019.
SEA Esports Scene Growing
Another trend in esports is that it is growing rapidly in Southeast Asia. Asia-Pacific region had an audience of over 98.9 million and most of the audiences are in fact from Southeast Asia. By the end of 2019, it predicts that it will expand over to 31.9 million. This is also one of the fastest-growing esports audience.
In 2018, Singtel Group, Razer and other partners are currently collaborating to expand the gaming and esports ecosystem across Southeast Asia, Australia, and India. This can boost Southeast Asia’s esports and encourage more leagues and tournaments in 2019.
Moreover, the 2019 SEA Games has already confirmed several competitive games (Dota 2, Starcraft 2, Tekken 7, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and Arena of Valor) to be a medal sports to be competed for the gold medals.
These are the trends we can expect in esports globally and not just in Malaysia. Esports will be a revolutionary form of sports entertainment for the future and it is here to stay. If you are interested to know more about developing competitive games for esports, reach us at Gameka.