The eSports Gaming Industry Is Absolutely Booming
Let’s begin with a number: $1.5 billion. That’s how much revenue is expected to be generated by the fast-growing eSports industry by 2020. Revenues this year are expected to reach $696 million, which would be up more than 40 percent from last year.
That’s serious growth.
If you’re not familiar with eSports, someone you know probably is. These are massive events for which top video-game players come together to compete against each other. The types of video games that are played at these events span all types of genres. Most commonly, they include fighting games (such as Super Smash Bros., Street Fighter), first-person shooter (Halo, Call of Duty), real-time strategy (Warcraft, StarCraft), and sports (FIFA, NBA 2K).
Major eSports events and tournaments include the International, the League of Legends World Championship and BlizzCon, an event highlighting the game universes created by Blizzard Entertainment, a video game developer and publisher based in Irvine, Calif.
Players not only compete for the glory of winning but for huge amounts of prize money. Earlier this year, one major eSports tournament broke records, with a prize pool of more than $24.6 million. Comparatively, the Professional Golfers’ Association’s Masters tournament prize pool totaled about $11 million this year.
Prize money isn’t the only thing that rivals major, traditional sporting events. So does the eSports audience, with in-person attendance rising as well as the number of video-game enthusiasts who stream the competitions digitally all over the world. Recent research suggests that the global eSports audience will reach 385 million people this year—191 million “enthusiasts” and a further 194 million “occasional viewers.” Furthermore, the number of enthusiasts is expected to grow by another 50 percent by 2020, reaching 286 million.
A true eSports gaming brand: MSI
Not only does Micro-Star International (MSI) manufacture and sell high-performance gaming hardware, the company produces its own global eSports tournament, the MSI MGA (Masters Gaming Arena). Formerly called the MSI Beat IT, the event gathers gamers from around the globe to test their skills to see who will rise as the next champions. They already are planning for MSI MGA 2018.
Additionally, MSI says it has signed on as an official partner of the ESL One 2018 for ESL One Genting, ESL One Manila, ESL One Cologne and ESL New York.
Perhaps most importantly, for nearly a decade MSI has partnered with more than 15 professional worldwide eSports teams—including top teams like Cloud 9 and Fnatic—providing them with the laptops and other accessories required for their gaming needs. Another of those teams is the Flash Wolves, the winners of the 2017 IEM World Championship.
“We’ve been sponsoring professional eSports teams all around the world and have been instrumental in helping them achieve outstanding records on the world stage,” MSI says. MSI will continue to lend its support to the team and “make sure the gaming never stops for both World Champion Flash Wolves, and everyone else.”
A true gaming brand, MSI offers a line of laptops designed and tested specifically for gaming (retailing between $799 and $5,099, from mainstream to high-end), gaming desktops ($899 to $2,999), graphics cards made for gaming, gaming motherboards and gaming accessories like keyboards, mice and headsets.
Everything MSI manufactures is made to meet the demand in eSports for high-performance devices to help enhance game play. That means gear that will stand up to long hours of heavy use. (MSI tests and builds its gear in-house, with more than 1,900 tests over a seven-day period.)