During the height of the unexpected global pandemic back in October, there were over 6,000 people all packed into a massive 25-acre stadium in Shanghai, hosting one of the world's largest sporting contests. There was also reportedly a massive 45 million online viewership. This is estimated to be as many people as those who watched the six games of the previous 2020 NBA Finals on TV alone.
Esport 2021 Trends
The matchup was the international League of Legends world championship, which is a watershed moment for all competitive gaming as well as its organizer, Tencent. One of Asia's most valuable companies is looking attentively into the billion-dollar esports arena, according to Newzoo, that could already boast even more regular views compared to the NBA or NFA!
Tencent has also placed pro gaming as the main focus of its ambition to dominate the whole online entertainment platform spreading from mobile games as well as video streaming up to social media. It is also now betting that esports will be able to entice and retain the whole internet audience needed to eventually grow to something approaching a massive $10-billion-plus NBA.
Is Esports the Fastest Growing Sport?
The main key to realizing that vision is Tencent's massive blockbuster known as the League of Legends battle arena title as well as TJ Sports, the company's outfit that was set up back in 2019 to just organize and promote the game's supposed competitive play over in China. While the total revenue in TJ's first two years was able to surpass $152 million, the fledgling company now plans to create even more original content like reality shows and even live stream channels around the company's star players and teams while selling merchandise.
Leo Lin, TJ co-CEO noted that Esports is quite like the Super Bowl, which is more than just a sports event but also a whole vehicle of entertainment and art. He announced that they are going for the direction of connecting esports with their games and the even wider entertainment business in general.
Will Esports Continue to Grow?
According to the story by Bloomberg, esports now show how Tencent is thinking about its overall long-term future. The world's largest games publisher has already invested billions of dollars directly in talent agencies, tournament organizers, and streaming sites to be able to create a massive infrastructure that is necessary to turn the current pro gaming from just a niche into a whole instrumental part of its total growth strategy.
A gaming analyst at Ampere Analysis, Chundi Zhang noted that Tencent's current investments into esports is for the long haul noting that it breaks the boundaries between very different businesses all the way from licensing to sponsorship and ticket sales. This was especially directed towards the competition in general and the user acquisition cost growing within the gaming market itself. Esports was described as a "huge untapped potential."
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Written by Urian Buenconsejo