As traditional sports leagues came to a standstill in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the esports industry sustained momentum and actually saw big growth, as noted at this year’s CES, the Consumer Technology Association’s annual technology and media trade show.
While the NBA, NFL, UFC, and other major sporting leagues effectively came to a halt, esporting leagues maintained nearly all of its momentum by shifting to players simply playing from home and maintaining broadcasting. The absence of live venues did not at all impact viewership, but with so many people forced to stay home, there were actually huge surges in viewership.
According to GlobalData’s latest reports named ‘Esports-Thematic Research’. The Esport’s industry has clearly proven to be immune to the COVID-19 pandemic due to its prompt transition into online formats and sudden spike in interest from traditional sports organizations.
While several games are benefiting from this enormous spike, there are a few that are leading the pack-namely a game by the name of Fortnite. A few years ago, Fortnite hosted its first ever “World Cup” which filled an arena and had people around the globe watching and cheering for their favorite organizations and players. In 2020, this event was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, but the overall game saw incredible growth none the less. Generating millions of dollars and providing rapid success for many players and organizations in the space. We see teams or organizations have rapid success, and even up and coming organizations on the rise.
For example, we sat down and spoke with Team Assault. Specifically, Anthony Cruz aka Cass (Twitter: @OfficialxCass), the CEO of Team Assault; Freddy Ortiz, the owner of Assault (Twitter: @itsFreddylol); and the co-owner of Assault, Daysmiel Morejon aka Sae (Twitter: @Saelols), to ask them about their experiences. They all admit that they saw exponential growth and success in 2020. Anthony says, “people just didn’t have much to do. Gaming was an escape. An escape from the fact that they were trapped inside. An escape from the constant worry of them or a loved one getting sick. And an escape from the reality of the world being in disarray. People needed something to focus on, and gaming is one of the best escapes there is. So yes, we absolutely saw huge growth during 2020 and throughout quarantine.”
Team Assault, predominantly known on Twitter as @TeamAssaultGG gained well over 250,000 followers through social media. There are individual members within the organization gaining millions of views per month, there are players competing on national stages, and there simply seems to be no slowing down in sight. Assault is now beginning the journey towards raising capital in a round A seed stage, currently working with multiple investment banking and venture capital firms, to work on continuing to grow the organization and bring in more talent. And with the market seemingly dominating traditional sports and entertainment, who knows how far this organization can really take it.
Fortnite has generated nearly 10 billion US dollars since it came out just a few years ago, and Fortnite is just one of many popular games. Esports as an industry is estimated to be worth about 1 billion US dollars per year, and at its current growth rate, Esports is on track to dominating traditional entertainment in every category. It is outperforming and out growing nearly every other industry, and where there is extreme levels of viewership and engagement, there is always money nearby. Big businesses are finally beginning to catch on, and with so much new money coming in, the success of this industry is just being fueled to surpass expectations. This is clearly an industry that we can no longer ignore.
Article by Inside Esports for The Outlooker.