eSports gaming is a growing industry and one of the most exciting niches in the video game world. The actual competitions attract monumental viewership and provide an opportunity for the most talented gaming teams to scoop life-changing sums of money.
It is now even accepted as a ‘real’ sport with lucrative scholarships available from professional clubs and murmurs that will feature in the Olympic Games one day.
But how is the exponential rise in eSports affecting how we interact with our mobile devices, and could these competitions one day be played from a smartphone?
The growth of eSports
All of the evidence points towards a serious increase in the sport’s popularity. By 2023, this niche of gaming alone is expected to be worth over $1.5 billion, with nearly 650 million fans. Back in 2012, the research found that 1.3 billion hours were spent watching eSports, and just six years later, the figure had ballooned to more than 6.5 million hours.
Some of this increase is down to the accessibility of the events and streams such as the ones found on Twitch.
The Asia Pacific accounts for a large slice of the sport’s fandom, but it is rapidly growing elsewhere. In Europe, Scandinavians lead the line as the most enthusiastic about eSports, but other EU nations and North American countries are getting excited too.
Three ways it changes mobile behaviors
eSports may have changed the type of content and entertainment we consume regularly, but few people have asked how this activity influences smartphone behaviors. Here are three ways things are changing:
1. Increased mobile gambling
The sport isn’t just creating a buzz among fans wanting to watch the action through live streams or by attending stadiums. It is also harnessing a new gambling market, namely eSports betting. With mobile casinos offering a greater number of games and now offering eSports betting markets as well, smartphone gambling is rapidly increasing.
2. More mobile streaming
Just like the latest Netflix series might have you streaming more from your mobile as you commute to work, so is eSports among fans. The competitions are played at different hours worldwide, and not everyone can sit down at home to take it in. Thus, eSports streaming is becoming a whole market in itself.
3. Surging mobile app downloads
People who watch gamers are usually gamers themselves and enjoy the same games that take center stage in tournaments. It is no surprise then that eSports may have contributed to increasing gaming app downloads. It isn’t easy to prove, but it makes logical sense.
Could mobile gaming become an eSport event?
There are even some arguments to say that competitions could be played with smartphone games in the future. This could take place in an eSports arena or remotely. There would be some issues to overcome, such as the capabilities of smartphones. 5G wireless technology could help bridge the concerns if it was to become a reality.