The Future of Esports
For years, esports has been touted as the sports industry’s next frontier. After all, games like Fortnite and CS:GO, among many others, are played by millions of people around the globe. However, esports has hit some bumps in the road, particularly when it comes to getting media rights and airtime. That snag has caused funding for the sport to stagnate, but a boost might come from the unlikeliest of places: the fans.
Adam Rymer is the CEO of Envy Gaming, a Dallas-based media and entertainment company focused on the gaming sector. He gave some of his opinions about where the industry is going and what he and Envy are doing to create new revenue streams. He said “Gaming and esports are a cultural force akin to music or movies where if you can build communities around a shared passion and activate with your fans in meaningful ways, whether through content, digitally or even at live events, real revenue potential exists.”
Basically, he’s talking about how, in order to get revenue to start rolling in, there needs to be communities created around esports that brings fans and enthusiasts together. However, that’s not to say that esports doesn’t already have a substantial financial footprint. For instance, the ESL Finals for Fortnite before the pandemic were held at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York with a grand prize of $3 million. Rymer goes on to say that by doing this, esports would soon garner enough attention that they could no longer be ignored for media rights and would force the issue of live coverage on cable.
Of course, this won’t happen overnight, but it’s undeniable that the esports fan community has already grown exponentially from where it was not even five years ago. Rymer says that the level of interest and community already qualifies esports companies as media businesses, but he argues that it’ll still be another decade or two before esports is truly taken as seriously as sports like tennis or golf, because of the casual nature of video games. So, Rymer will definitely see his vision come to life, but it might be a little while.