Esports is an international spectator sport based on popular video games like Fortnite and League of Legends. These titles alone have generated billions of dollars. Game companies like Activision, Epic Games, and Riot Games, and their licensees (the owners and broadcasters) are producing televised, athlete-driven live entertainment, just like traditional sports. The video game industry as a whole generates more revenue than movies and music put together, over $120 billion according to Neilson Superdata. That dwarfs the pro football, which generates a measly 11 billion.
Compared to America’s most popular pro sports, football, basketball and baseball, Esports is small, but it now ranks with popular sports entertainment like wrestling. In 2019, according to esportsobserver.com, over $211M was awarded from over 4,000 Esports tournaments, an increase of 29% from 2018’s $163M prize pool. Professional players, individually or as a team, compete in an often bracket style organized tournament.
There are many different genres of Esports. The major genres are multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), fighting, racing, sport games, card games, battle royales, real-time strategy (RTS), and first-person shooter (FPS). Many of these genres are widely popular, regardless of the devices they can be played on. We will be including mobile and virtual reality (VR) games as part of Esports. All of these genres have their own audiences, but the quickest growing genre is MOBAs, such as League of Legends.