The recent boom in the eSports industry has proven that one thing is for certain: gaming is changing the tech world, even for those who don’t play video games. As competitive gaming rose in popularity, it slowly but surely changed how we view and use our computers and tech in general.
eSports and the rise of live streaming
eSports encompass the world of competitive gaming, where professional players or teams vie for prizes in organized tournaments. Just like traditional sports, eSports tournaments are viewed by millions of fans around the globe. Asia is an area where eSports are thriving, and Southeast Asia is considered by Asiabet to be a global eSports hotspot. According to the betting website, eSports are considered on par with immensely popular local sports like cricket or baseball when it comes to gambling options. Across the region, players are increasingly interested in betting on popular video game tournaments such as Starcraft II, Dota 2, Clash Royale. This only serves to illustrate how well-established the industry is – and the same trends, albeit lower in volume, are evident especially across North America and Europe.
The eSports market has changed how we consume video gaming and tech. First of all, it is inextricably linked to the rise of live streaming platforms like YouTube and Twitch. In large part, these platforms allowed more and more people to discover just how much they enjoy seeing their favorite gamers play live. Fans are now able to see how a pro would approach a game, explore it alongside them, and even interact by chatting or taking part in contests and giveaways. This has also transformed how they view their place as tech consumers. Having an account on streaming and gaming services, especially Twitch and Steam, are now considered part and parcel of being a gamer. While eSports may have received a boost from live game streaming, the industry is now returning the favor by pushing more people towards discovering these platforms.
How eSports fans are driving the tech and gaming gear market
Just like the Super Bowl or the NBA playoffs have been a great opportunity for more people to cultivate a passion for football or basketball, so do eSports tournaments work for gaming enthusiasts. Watching a video gaming competition is a social event, even if you tune in from home. It allows the gaming community to feel part of something bigger and allows fans to socialize and develop their own communication codes. eSports have expanded the fanbase of popular titles like League of Legends and Dota 2. More and more people are getting hooked into gaming by watching their favorite players compete – and a whole new generation of gamers have a role model to look up to. Just like with professional athletes, these role models inspire them, and they can dream of becoming pro players too, one day.
And just like sports fans show their love by buying sports gear or their favorite team’s merch, so do eSports fans prefer better and branded tech. Gamers opt for hardware that can pull its weight when it comes to intense playing for long hours. This means that they are driving growth in what has been dubbed the PC gaming hardware market. PCs with better CPU, constantly improving graphics cards, and custom-made peripherals like keyboards and gaming mouses that are specially designed for gaming are in high demand. And then there is special gear like VR headsets and joysticks.
Many gamers love having branded equipment, not only to show their support for their favorite games but because playing is part of their lifestyle. There are also game-specific SkinPacks that fans can choose, like this Dota 2 SkinPack available for Windows 10 and 7/8. Finally, the gaming market extends beyond tech. Lately, we have heard a lot of talk about gaming chairs that are specifically designed to allow playing without the risk of injury. While gaming is not a tremendously active sport, players need better back and arm support as they tend to do repetitive movements for hours on end.
Whether we play casually or on a professional level, gaming has changed our lives – and it has surely changed the type and amount of tech we consume.