Can Esports rival traditional sports in the digital age?

The digital era is in full swing, and each innovation is having a profound effect on our lives. We are gripped by modern day tech and are becoming increasingly dependent on it. One of the main advantages of tech though is that it introduces something new into our lives. It does not necessarily replace things but changes and evolves everyday items like the mobile phone, computer, or payment devices further.

Our focus on this short piece will not be on a piece of tech, but an industry that has used tech and digital advancements for its gain. We are talking about Esports. It has enjoyed a phenomenal rise over the past decade and now organizes its own outright events with the world’s best athletes competing against each other for supremacy in the Esports world.

Just one glance at Esports betting markets at Cloudbet shows you how many games and events are already being organized and we can only expect this to increase. If we were to take the presence of Esports on sports betting platforms for example, one can argue that it ranks as a fully-fledged sport. But how far has Esports actually come? Can we talk about it in the same breath as traditional sports such as soccer and tennis?

Firstly, here are a few facts about Esports:

  • There are currently an estimated 286 million Esports enthusiasts around the world.
  • Nearly 300 million additional people are classed as “occasional viewers”.
  • The Esports market in the United States is expected to pass the USD1 billion mark this year.
  • The biggest prize pot in an Esports tournament ever is a whopping USD40,018,400.00. This was the overall prize pot for The International 2021 DOTA 2 tournament.
Image: Wikimedia EDG Champion.

How far can Esports go?

The question of whether Esports can reach the levels of traditional sports is an interesting one and one that we can only hypothesize for now. The potential is most certainly there though. The numbers highlighted above are impressive, but they do not match up to the 5 billion people worldwide that follow soccer. However, the potential lies in what the future might bring. The reason Esports has such a high ceiling is that tech will only continue to get better. With tech improving, there will be an inevitable shift of people using digital devices even more than they do now.

The exposure is key for Esports to progress and having soccer icons such as Ruud Gullit promoting the recent eChampions League is a bold statement. The money to invest in gaming tech, training of athletes, and sponsorship of teams is clearly there, all Esports needs is time. Soccer, American Football, baseball, ice hockey all had to make the same small strides at one point, and although Esports is relatively new to the scene, the building blocks are there for billions to follow in the future.

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