These will be the games key to esports success.
According to NewZoo’s first esports marketing report of 2018, we should see a huge growth in viewership. In fact, by 2019, NewZoo are predicting a massive jump to 193m consistent esports viewers.
That is a number that will be rising by more than over 50m from the 2017 statistic, once again showing esports really is a powerhouse at the moment. One of the big reasons for this is the emerging markets across Latin America, Africa and the rest of Asia who are now ‘driven by improving IT infrastructure and urbanization’.
So if all of this is going to happen, what games are going to be leading the way to esports domination and receiving much more awareness in traditional media? Well, in the report, there are a few games mentioned but we’re going to whittle them down to three that will be key for esports to progress even further.
1. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
If you think PUBG is done, then you are nuts. If anything, it is only just beginning and once Bluehole push out regular updates and get the game truly esports ready, it will be a powerhouse.
PUBG already dominates the Twitch market and is in the top five most played games pretty much every day. In fact, at the time of writing this, (a Tuesday afternoon) more than 2.5million players are online! That is four times the number of Dota2 players and five times more than Counter-Strike.
With PUBG now getting more tournaments that will not only bring in huge viewers but huge sponsorship as well.
If Bluehole can get the game as ‘esports ready’ as they can, then we easily see the biggest competitive FPS on the market… and yes, that is included Counter-Strike.
As games for esports success go, this one is pretty important.
Yep, if PUBG is going to rule the roost, then Fortnite is going to be right alongside it. In fact, many believe that Epic Games’ battle royale is set to overtake PUBG and become even more popular. While that might sound crazy, it may not be. Fortnite actually had more concurrent players in January and February than PUBG.
With more than 3million concurrent players and like PUBG, the game always towards the top of Twitch, with players such as Ninja bringing in a whopping 100,000 concurrent viewers at any one time.
Despite all of this, like PUBG, the game is yet to really cement a proper esports competition. That being said, teams such as NRG and TSM have already snapped up plenty of the best players and streamers in anticipation of competitive Fortnite becoming a thing.
This may not be one of the biggest games key to esports success, but holds a strong fanbase and really is only getting more and more popular. It it can become a proper esport, then we could be really on to something.
3. League of Legends
Almost been out a decade and it shows absolutely no sign of slowing down. In fact, a whopping 81million log on to play LOL every single month, with peak hitting over 27million per day.
Not only is the game becoming more and more popular, but the prize pools are just getting bigger and bigger. The 2017 World Championships managed to bring in a prize pool of more than $5m and while that is less than Dota 2, League obviously doesn’t have Valve behind them.
As games key to esports success go, this is the absolute standard and will be vital for breaking new markets and new viewers.
It may not be quite as popular as PUBG or Fortnite, but as an esport, Blizzard has proved that Overwatch can be a big esport. In fact, the Overwatch League has been a true revelation so far, with over a million people tuning in on Twitch to watch the Stage 1 final between New York Excelsior and London Spitfire.
And it is probably worth remembering that that was only the first stage of the inaugural league competition. Just imagine what Season 2 will look like, especially if new franchises join from Latin America and across Europe.