It is quite likely in our lifetime we will see a massive shift away from conventional televised sports competitions and toward video games. The industry is still in its infancy and is part of a shifting generational trend of young people moving away from sporting pursuits and towards electronic games.
As reported by the BBC: in 2015 four players made more than $1.73m in 2015, while many others earned more than $100,000 in income. Video game competitions are becoming increasingly popular amongst the youth and on websites like Amazon’s Twitch.tv, where gamers live stream their gaming sessions for donations.
Currently we are likely to be at a growth stage which is comparable with the early days of American Football, where the industry was popular but had yet to take off as a national pursuit. As the current youth demographic continues to age, it is more than likely that we will see the industry mature.
I strongly believe that this trend will be further propagated by the rise of Asia. In places like South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and increasingly mainland China, gaming is becoming a significant part of the youth culture.
While the grandiose nature of the live venues probably won’t rival that of the conventional sports industry’s stadiums, the ability to participate becomes huge when you consider the potential to capture global audiences through the internet and the ability to participate from home.
When coupled with conventions and cosplay, the merchandising and advertising potential is quite significant.
This is all dependent on the trajectory of global growth in the coming years, however.