As competitive gaming raises in popularity, streaming services are being flooded by gamers. When the world’s most iconic gaming tournaments go live, viewers from around the globe travel to arenas and tune into streaming services so they can watch their favorite gamers battle for eternal glory and riches.

As a result of this growing phenomenon, eSports picked up a lot of steam in 2017. The eSports industry earned almost seven hundred million dollars in revenue, and it amassed three hundred and eighty-five million viewers throughout the year. However, a lot of people are confused as to how eSports started dominating streaming services, and they are even more confused as to how annual revenues are expected to smash through the billion-dollar level in 2019. Here are the three major factors behind the blooming popularity of eSports.

A Naturally Growing Community

The truth is that video games have always been popular, and gamers have always been a close community. However, streaming online has allowed multiple generations of fans to come together and connect on an entirely new level.

This natural progression of social gaming has allowed eSports to take over a large portion of the streaming community. As the community grows, broadcasters are taking advantage of stream processing in order to better connect and bring the world eSports events that will stand the test of time.

The truth is that having the ability to broadcast tournaments in high-resolution video has captivated gamers of all ages and countries. Unlike traditional sports, eSports can be accessed for free on any device. This means that broadcasts can connect to televisions, computers, phones, and tablets from a single broadcast.

This isn’t your Parents’ Idea of Gaming

Playing video games has always been a national pass time for those who enjoy engaging with iconic plots while testing their abilities by reacting to unknown variables. However, the past few years have launched gaming to an entirely new level.

With a steady increase of revenue for video games over the past decade and a healthy economy, sales were expected to hit over two billion dollars in global gaming revenues in 2017.

As a result of this massive success, game developers look to eSports athletes to highlight the best aspects of the top selling games in the world. This means the better gamers get, the more money gamers get paid.

For the first time in history, gamers can pay rent and enjoy a good lifestyle by doing what they love full time. It’s a gaming heaven, and these prized athletes will fight like gladiators to protect that dream job.

The result of this new era is extremely entertaining eSports tournaments that are broadcasted to fans across the world.

Major Investments are Behind the Growth of eSports

As the competition has continued to climb, more fans have followed. The sport has evolved so much that wealthy owners and big businesses have taken notice.

Owners of the Patriots, the Mets, the Heat, the 76ers, the Bucks, the Lightning, and the Kings all own an eSports team.

Disney’s ESPN is making a major move into eSports broadcasting by investing more money into BAMTech. The investment follows rumors that Disney is looking to develop a multi-sports streaming service in 2018, and all evidence points to Disney broadcasting eSports in that package.

Like Disney, Amazon has also invested heavily into eSports by buying the extremely popular streaming website Twitch for a little under one billion dollars. Shortly after purchasing the streaming site, Twitch acquired rights to broadcast twenty eSports events for Blizzard. In 2018, Twitch will host every match from the Overwatch League, the Hearthstone championships, World of Warcraft tournaments, and StarCraft II tournaments.

As Disney and Amazon compete for control over eSports broadcasting, the fan base will rapidly grow to satisfy gaming companies and team owners. With so much money involved, the viewership will naturally increase and take over streaming services moving forward.

About the author

Kevin Faber is the CEO of Silver Summit Capital. He graduated from UC Davis with a B.A. in Business/Managerial Economics. In his free time, Kevin is usually watching basketball or kicking back and reading a good book.

Follow him on Twitter: @faber28kevin