Is Esports trending or not in the gaming industry?
Stadiums, lights, fans, and sponsorships fill the modern eSports world. What was once an obscure version of competitive gaming is now a mainstream staple making appearances on streaming sites and sports networks. Colleges grant scholarships, players are marking careers in gaming, and the entire world of eSports is evolving into a professional setting. However, this does not mean it is still a trending topic in many game circles. Like traditional sports, eventually, eSports will hit a period of normalization and it is important to know when to shift from trending promotion tactics into a more corporate and structured eSports advertising endeavor.
In the Past
Competitive gaming has had a long history going back to the days of Atari and Arcade cabinets. With the introduction of computer gaming and the internet, it was not long before LAN parties and localized events were scheduled. Players would gather, often taking their entire computer with them, to compete against other opponents in their area. Eventually, this expanded into a larger scale with titles like Starcraft and Unreal leading the charge of competitive gaming.
In the Present
With computers advancing, the internet available across the world, and games growing more complex eSports is at a pivotal point of evolution. Some publishers are beginning to formalize their eSports endeavors and offer the opportunity for advertising and sponsorships in competitive teams. Others are drifting towards a more organic approach offering the chance for anyone to compete in the eSports world. With or without a team, competitive gaming is reaching new heights.
Further inspection reveals that this is far outside the PC gaming world. Mobile gaming, console gaming, and even VR gaming each is branching into their own competitive realities. These environments are catering towards countless fans and for brands, this is a moment where merchandising and competition come hand in hand. While eSports may not dominate headlines like other competitive ventures, the rate of acceleration in the eSports community’s growth is massive and impactful.
In the Future
With technology growing more seamless, competition turning into an opportunity for relaxation, and anyone with a computer qualifying to compete in eSports the future is bright. However, there is a fine line between reasonable advertising and a complete overhaul of the eSports endeavor. As discussed in our gaming marketing versus business marketing piece, the audience of gamers both players and viewers are much more complicated than a normal consumer. When dealing with someone’s passion, marketing teams need to be careful which makes the eSports trend in the future dangerous territory for the uninformed company.
Can it Trend?
Yes, but, trending may not be the right thing for the eSports community to do. While advancing across eSports is inevitable at this point, trending could bring negative attention into the gaming environment that would affect the future of eSports competition. Capitalizing on trends is not the same as supporting eSports as a whole, and false support can often jumpstart the entire process out of its pacing. With sponsorship and money deals now revolving around eSports and competitive gaming, it becomes more and more necessary to not jump into a trend-based promotion.
eSports will trend naturally, but artificially provoking a trend could cause damage to the balance in place during the present day. Many countries are still cautious around the idea of gaming, money, and children in gaming and while competitive institutions are mainly adult-oriented it does not stop the young from aspiring to be great. Until regulations are sorted, eSports trending may not be a positive thing for the overall gaming ecosystem. However, new inventions and launches may inspire a surge of trend-based promotions which could go either way when applied to eSports.
Lurkits Data Trends
The only way to know for sure whether an eSports trend is safe to market with or not is with data. Luckily, Lurkit offers tons of data listening tools that can monitor streamers, news, and game-based announcements and help predict the next trend. Only by watching the metrics shift, observing public trends, and predicting what could be coming to eSports next can a company hope to launch a trending campaign in the eSports market.