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eSports May Soon Be Included In 2024 Olympic Games

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Nothing is certain just yet, but discussions are a positive step forward for the recognition of esports at the Olympics.

Esports will be present at the Asian Games, the Olympic Council of Asia announced in April. An event recognized by the IOC, the Asian Games’ esports program will likely help push along the Paris Olympic bid committee with their discussions.

Team EnVyUs has secured a major investment from Hersh Family Investment and Interactive Group, according to an ESPN report.

The group is led by Kenneth Hersh, an executive in the oil and natural gas industry, and is based in Texas. The company reportedly offered EnVyUs a $35 million deal, which would make it one of the biggest acquisitions in the esports sector. EnVyUs is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, but will relocate to Dallas to align with its reported Overwatch League slot, ESPN said.

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MORE Millennials Prefer Watching eSports Over Traditional Sports

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L.E.K. Sports Survey found that Professional sports leagues “officially have a millennial problem.”

  • 40% of millennials prefer watching esports to traditional sports
  • 26% of millennial eSports enthusiasts reported a significant uptick in eSports viewing over the past year
  • 61% of esports followers said they spent less time watching TV over the past 12 months, and 45% said they had cut back on traditional sports viewing
  • Together millennials — ages 17-34 — and Generation Z peers — age 16 and under — comprise 45% of America’s consumer base

Major League Baseball’s video streaming company recently paid $300 million for the right to stream League of Legends through 2023.

Facebook Wants In On eSports

Intel Extreme Masters Katowice

Katowice, Poland is home to the largest eSports event in the world—Intel Extreme Masters. Photo courtesy ESL
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Facebook said Thursday that it has partnered with ESL, formerly known as the Electronic Sports League, to live stream video game tournaments, also known as eSports.

As part of the deal, Facebook  will live stream upcoming ESL contests in which players battle each other in the first-person military shooter game, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Facebook will also host a weekly show dedicated to highlights and interviews with players participating in the Counter Strike tournament.

Each week ESL will live stream 30 hours of Counter-Strike tournaments, known as RankS competitions, via Facebook, the companies said. The RankS competition involves 300 gamers from North America and Europe who battle to win a cut of the $40,000 prize money ESL awards each month. In total, ESL plans to broadcast over 5,500 hours of gaming tournaments, starting in June.

 

PlayStation Vue & eSports

 

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PlayStation Vue is slated to get its very own, dedicated eSports channel with 24 hours content facility. Along with boosting the still nascent eSports industry and giving it a larger audience, this would also serve to give the players something to do between bouts of game play.

The Electronic Sports League (ESL) said that its EsportsTV will be coming to Sony’s TV streaming service later in the month.

The service launched in Europe last year and has already reached in excess of 5 million households. ESL is one of the largest names in the niche and organizes a whole host of programs including the likes of League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Users will have other options besides Twitch and the like to watch eSports events. With Vue available on PlayStation 4, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, mobile, and other platforms, there will be a host of places where users can easily get hold of all the happenings in the niche.

 

Trends In The Game Industry (eSports)

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According to Newzoo, of the 1.3 billion gamers worldwide, 256 million are eSports fans today. That number will grow to 385 million by 2017. ESports generated over $493 million in revenues last year and are expected to jump to $696 million this year.

When you look at the gaming landscape, the only thing as “hot “as eSports is virtual reality. Newzoo forecasts global virtual reality and augmented reality will generate $569 billion by 2025. And gamers will be a big part of that revenue, with projections of spending $100 million on VR hardware by 2018.

The Electronic Sports League (ESL), and one of the giants in both the tech and gaming markets, Intel, are already laying the groundwork for virtual reality eSports. The eleventh season of the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) eSports tournament just concluded in Katowice, Poland over two sold-out weekends this month. Over 173,000 people attended and another 40 million people tuned into the livestreams across Twitch, Twitter, and a dozen television networks globally. IEM Season 12 will kick off its year-long tournament tour schedule on May 6 in Sydney, Australia.

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