Competitive gaming is posed to overtake mainstream sports ‘in a few years,’ according to Momentum CEO Chris Weil. The global brand agency recently released a new research study that shows more than half of those surveyed believe playing and watching video games will overtake traditional sports by 2022.
Weil says brands should be taking advantage of competitive gaming, better known as eSports. Momentum estimates that the gaming industry’s revenue will reach $90 billion by 2020.
The report shows that gaming is going mainstream, with 75% of respondents saying gaming will always be a part of their lives, and 58% believing that gaming should be an official sport.
“The industry is huge and should be treated with the same respect as you would a top league football game,” said Luke D’Arcy, Momentum’s UK President. “Whether it’s a live event or an online gaming forum, the experience should be the most important thing.”
The eSports industry continues to grow, becoming a worldwide phenomenon. In 2016, the top-earning player in competitive gaming took home more than £2.1 million in Dota tournaments. Competitive gaming events are selling out arenas, and players are training for up to 11 hours straight to prepare for tournaments.
As Mirror points out, each member of the team Wings Gaming, who won the Dota 2 International tournament in 2016, took home $1.83 million in prize money. Golf champion Dustin Johnson took home $1.8 mlilion for winning the U.S. Open in 2016.
Unibet says the eSports industry generated $400 million in revenue last year. That figure is projected to reach $565 million in 2017, and top $1 billion by 2020.
ESL also announced that it will be bringing eSports TV, its live competitive gaming channel, to PlayStation Vue. The channel will be available with a $54 per month Vue Elite subscription.