The world of eSports is quickly dominating the world and big names like Microsoft and Disney as well as the Asian Games are getting in on all the action. From around 40,000 spectators in the 2014 League of Legends World Championship finals held in Seoul, Korea, this competitive gaming sport is now drawing hundreds of millions of viewers from countries all across the globe in both online platforms and real-world venues.
Newzoo’s CEO and co-founder Peter Warman affirms, “It has the potential to become one of the top five sports in the world.” In 2016 alone, the sport generated $493 million in revenue with a worldwide audience of 320 million people, according to Newzoo’s Global eSports Market Report. And forecasters predict that eSports will be generating over £1 billion in global revenue and drive 600 million spectators by 2020.
Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex to Host eSports Tournaments
Source: ESPN Wide World of Sports via Facebook
A recent article on Forbes provided details on Disney’s plans to hold eSports tournaments in its Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, which is not just popular for its theme parks, but is also where one of the world’s most state-of-the-art sports facilities is located – the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Faron Kelley, vice president of sports at Disney World, shares, “We are trying to keep up with what sports are breaking and how we can be involved in them. eSports is a big one we are looking at and are very excited about it.” No further details were given and there was no confirmation yet as to when the Disney plans to debut its eSports gaming tournaments. Watch out for further developments on news from Master Mazuma, an eSports betting site which provides guides to the most famous video games including League of Legends, Hearthstone and Overwatch.
Microsoft Stores to Become eSports Gaming Arenas
Microsoft announced in August that it will be turning its stores into eSports gaming arenas. Microsoft has recently partnered with ASUS Republic of Gamers and HyperX, and have started hosted weekly League of Legends events dubbed “ROG Arena at Microsoft Store” at its physical stores in several locations in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Australia.
Local players with active League of Legends accounts are invited to sign up for 5-on-5 battles every Saturday, with the initial competition held last August 26. The gaming laptops, mice, mouse pads, and headsets are all provided by Microsoft. Up to eight teams can compete during these weekly matches.
Prior to this Microsoft has hosted other eSports tournaments in its stores, including Counter Strike and FIFA, as well as the Halo World Championship. Mixer NYC Studio, a digital production shop also owned by Microsoft, also hosts gaming events with a live audience at its flagship store in Manhattan, New York.
eSports Will Be a Medal Event at the 2022 Asian Games
The year 2022 will be a very momentous one for eSports fans and players. On this year, eSports will be an official medal sport at the 2022 Asian Games in China. This is the biggest milestone for the sport so far. The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) recently announced its partnership Alisports, the sports division of Alibaba, China’s biggest online retailer.
The OCA’s recent decision affirms “the rapid development and popularity of this new form of sports participation among the youth.” The council plans to introduce eSports as a demonstration sport at the 2018 Asian Games to be held in Indonesia, then officially as a medal event in 2022 at the Asian Games to be held in Hangzhou, China.
There are so many developments in eSports to look forward to by fans and players alike. One thing’s for sure, there will always be lots of excitement and huge prizes to be won!
*Featured Image Source: https://qz.com