2020 and 2021 can be seen as a tough time for the entire world population. Especially since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak has spread so widely that almost the whole world has felt its impact. Of course, apart from health, the effects also spread to various sectors, including the esports industry. The industry, which has continued to grow rapidly since 2011, has indeed seen a significant difference. This can be seen from the increasing total prize pool as well as the inclusion of new game titles that are finally involved in this realm. As one of the largest money supply industries in the world, its activists are also working hard to keep esports afloat in the midst of this pandemic. The emergence of e sports also makes the betting companies, such as smartbettingguide, provide the gambler to bet on these rising stars.
How Pandemic Changes Esports
Before we talk about evolution, what is esports actually ? The term esports or electronic sports emerged in the late 1990s. Previously, the first video-game competition (Intergalactic Spacewar Olympics) was held on October 19, 1972 at Stanford University with the prize of a one-year subscription to Rolling Stone magazine. Esports is often defined as a branch of sports. However, this is unlike the conventional sport where people train their muscle and technique, here players will grow, exercise, and develop their physical as well as mental skills. It all uses digital and information technology.
Esports is also unique in that a player’s successful career does not depend on the physical attribute. Whether a player is fat, thin, muscular, slow, or fast, it is all no matter here. While there is of course also a link between good physical health and improved performance of a player, in the end it doesn’t matter whether the player is tall or short. Both can excel at the highest level of League of Legends, Mobile Legends : Bang Bang, eSports PES (Pro Evolution Soccer), CS (Counter Strike) : GO, Dota 2, or other games. Esports can further equate the playing field for factors such as gender, culture, and location. The generalization of the players helped the fanbase become wider and wider.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, esports was already well known as one of the most popular and well-liked entertainment industries, especially for players, gamers, and gamblers. Tens to hundreds of tournaments have also been successfully held in a magnificent event that was witnessed by millions of pairs of eyes live or online. However, since this pandemic has spread, several companies holding tournaments have finally racked their brains so that esports can still be enjoyed by fans spread all over the world. Finally, the choice of online tournaments is also the best option that can be taken.
We can take an example from the ESL One Major 2002 back then. A major tournament of this Dota 2 game now has a different format from the previous year. This is also being done with an intention. The intention is that the DPC’s timeline will not change, as the others have changed into an annual tournament which is named The International. Switch to another game. CS:GO also has the same problem as Dota 2. Again, the organizers have to decide on changes to the official tournament format under the big names Valve, ESL, and Intel Master, namely the ESL Pro Tour.
Esports in Entertainment Industry
The change in format turned out to have a positive impact on the esports trend. This is evident from the increasing number of viewers since the pandemic hit the world. Indeed, because there is no other choice that can be taken by the fans in order to keep watching their favorite team compete.
Data from Statista shows that, in March 2020, Twitch experienced a surge in viewership across various esports channels. This was later validated by a source. The source stated that the watcher’ amount is increasing amazingly right on 15 of march, which has hit the number of 20 million watchers.This figure is quite fantastic because Statista says that this increase has reached 15% within three months. Previously, at the IEM Katowice 2020 event, the number of spectators had also reached 1 million people in the period from February 24 to March 1 2020. From a number of matches that were successfully held, with this number the IEM Katowice tournament had the highest number of spectators in 2020.
Meanwhile, other data shows that in different games such as Dota and watched by more than 658 thousand people. The battle royale game, namely PUBG (Player Underground Battleground), also followed at 525 thousand viewers. This data shows that streaming trends are the only way for esports fans to keep up with the flow of this industry. With the increase of demands and views, it is not in anyone’s doubt that esports indeed become one of the big guns in the entertainment industry.
The genre of sports, especially football, is also thriving. With more and more licenses being bought by the console to the professional clubs, many players loved the sports genre, like eSports PES, FIFA, Madden NFL, or even NBL. The thought of playing with different players like Lionel Messi against someone in other parts of a country like for example Cristiano Ronaldo, with the real face and movement, is really intriguing to many esports fans. The prize for these competitions is not cheap.
From all the data that has been collected, we can conclude that the esports industry has experienced a lot of improvement in the midst of this pandemic. The positive steps taken by the organizers turned out to be fruitful. Several Major tournaments that have taken place have also become a benchmark that esports still survives and is able to get out of crisis conditions. In fact, the format that has been followed will become a new trend that is proven to produce various benefits, especially in terms of viewership. Considering that now you can only enjoy matches from home and take advantage of streaming channels, such as Twitch and YouTube.