In response to skyrocketing viewership that exceeded 3 billion hours in Q1 2020, Twitch launched a directory for the easy navigation of live esports tournaments. The page, simply titled “Esports” is a meeting place for all the events going on in the world of virtual sports. This directory is a savior for those who love esports and who miss traditional sports and need a replacement. Many of the Sports Techie community blog readers and followers are gamers before these Q1 numbers were compiled but will after COVID-19 forced more people inside, many more of you have caught the gaming bug. The Q2 eSports numbers will crush 3 billion by perhaps double the amount because of coronavirus.
From the esports directory page, a person can check out competitions involving chess, Magic: The Gathering, Fortnite, NHL 20, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Mortal Kombat 11, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and tons of other games. In addition to displaying active competitions, Twitch’s esports directory lists esports pros and personalizes the content based on one’s viewing history. Ideally, the page will display games and tournaments that are of interest to each user.
However, some people won’t be able to access the directory just yet. The complete roll-out is expected to take a few days. Before esports got a dedicated directory, users had to search out competitions from the main Twitch page. This user-friendly service came at the right time. Esports’ popularity is through the roof.
Popularity of Virtual Sports
These days, online sporting competitions are much more than 16-bit chess with a randomly generated opponent. There are professional virtual gaming leagues that generate revenue in the tens of millions of dollars. Esports as a whole is expected to generate over $1 billion in 2020.
Of course, rising revenue corresponds with growing fanfare. More and more people are discovering the benefits of gaming, especially as it pertains to pandemic life. Gaming is helping to establish a new normal, with esports filling the role of competitive entertainment that traditional sports vacated. However, esports have been filling this role long before the pandemic.
In 2016, there were 121 million esports enthusiasts and 160 million casual fans. At the conclusion of 2018, the number of esports enthusiasts had grown to 165 million and the number of casual fans to 215 million. By 2021, the global esports market is projected to consist of 250 million enthusiasts and 307 million casuals. Even the gambling industry has had to make room for esports betting.
Events to Look Forward To
With traditional sports canceled, athletes have been taking their skills online. The NHL Player Gaming Challenge commenced on April 30 and features players from all 31 teams competing in a four-week NHL 20 tourney. They are playing for $100,000 to go to COVID-19 relief. Also, on Sunday, May 3, tennis stars Venus Williams, Serena Williams, and Naomi Osaka, as well as NFL players Ryan Tannehill and DeAndre Hopkins will compete in a virtual tennis tournament on Mario Tennis Aces. The winning duo gets $1 million for a charity of its choosing.
Sports Techie, Twitch’s new esports directory makes finding your favorite games and tournaments easier than ever before. Esports are scratching an entertainment itch for self-isolating gamers and sports fans. Not only are professional gamers playing in esports tournaments but professional athletes from paused sports leagues.
Gaming is now mainstream for good, bet your 401K on it.
See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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