Over the past few months players have competed against each other on Fifa 2019, for a chance to be selected to represent their favourite Premier League club in the live final of the inaugural ePremier League. Today is the first of the two day final, with 40 gamers battling it out in the group stages. The final is being broadcast live on Sky Sports and the Premier League website here.
2019 will be the first billion-dollar year for eSports. Global eSports revenues are predicted to rise to $1.1 billion in 2019, with a revenue increase of 26.7% year-over-year. Looking further ahead, global eSports revenues are expected to reach $1.8 billion by 2022 (with the most optimistic and pessimistic predictions being $3.2 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively) (Source: 2019 Global Esports Market Report, Newzoo).
The rapid growth of eSports has not gone unnoticed by those in the business of professional sport; teams, players and leagues have all been investing in eSports. Sports organisations who are always searching for ways to engage and grow their audience see an opportunity not only expand professional sports but also to play a role in what has become a new competitive and incredibly lucrative spectacle. Indeed, given professional sports organisations such as the Premier League have fostered and established highly successful regional and global frameworks of stakeholders in media, merchandising, ticketing, and venues they are well placed to adopt eSports and expand the reach of eSports in return.
It was a fantastic opportunity to have worked with Patrick Mitchell on advising the Premier League on the launch of the ePremier League and it will be interesting to see how it grows from year to year.
2019 is set to be a big year for eSports. Watch this space.