Esports has been around for a while, and its popularity has increased considerably in the past few years. The Harvard International Review defines esports as video games played in an organised environment.
The rise of esports has created a new gaming market internationally, not only for athletes but for big companies, media corporations and game developers. In 2022, the esports market was valued at $1.39 billion globally and is only expected to grow. It’s no surprise that sites like https://us.onlinegamblers.com/ feature esports in their reviews of the safest online casinos and sportsbooks.
While the esports craze has swept through Asian countries like Korea and Japan like a tidal wave, its rise in Europe and America has been slower. As more and more corporations realise the investment potential of esports, more events are being hosted in the UK—events like the EPIC.LAN tournaments attract thousands of spectators between in-person and online viewers.
This year’s event is set for the 26th -29th of October, as the EPIC.LAN and Intel partnership was renewed for the 2023 season. The Epic39, held in July, was a resounding success despite the last-minute venue change from the Kettering Conference Centre to the Wolverhampton Racecourse.
Teams and Players
League of Legends and Call of Duty remain the firm favourites among gamers in the UK, which is not surprising as they are considered the pioneer esports franchises. Another indication of the growing interest in esports is in the British and European teams on the esports circuit. London-based Fourth Wall Esports Club was just established earlier this year but has already made its mark in League of Legends.
Esports has proven to be a lucrative business for sponsors like Samsung and Intel, who have partnered with successful teams or have been involved in hosting esports events. But it’s not only the big corporations that have benefitted. Players or athletes have also had significant paydays from the sport. Wolifiez (Jaden Ashman) has accumulated over a million dollars in winnings from Fortnite; as of May 2023, he was the highest-earning player in the UK.
As esports gains momentum in the UK and Europe, there will be new players to make waves at the various tournaments. It would be great to see the likes of Hen and Wolfiez fight for dominance on the global stage.
A majority of online casinos now have an esports category, which means that esports has revolutionised not just the gaming genre but also the betting sector. The live broadcasting of several esports competitions has helped the streaming behemoth Twitch gain notoriety. Although it is difficult to predict the industry’s future, growth is anticipated. Esports are here to stay, that much is evident.