With a market value of over $900 million, eSports has become a truly fascinating industry in recent years. Constant updates and changes keep the world of gaming fast moving and extremely exciting, both for players and for businesses. With multiple high-valued companies and some brilliant start-ups, becoming familiar with some of the leading businesses in this industry can help show what eSports is all about.
One of the leading gaming startups is Twitch, a live streaming video platform, has had an outstanding effect on eSports, helping bring the excitement of a video game played by professionals to the homes of millions of fans. Twitch was purchased by Amazon in August 2014 for over $970 million, and has become the “bread and butter” of video game streaming. Twitch has created a great platform, where the opportunity to rise to fame and success is given to any gamer who has what it takes. With an annual event, TwitchCon, and essentially evolving into a social media platform, Twitch has become a huge part of the gaming culture and is clearly going to be sticking around for a very long time.
Another great company that every gamer knows is Discord. Discord is an all in one text, voice, and video chat application dedicated to the gamers around the world. This application focuses on a simple, hassle-free, voice and text chat experience during games. In other words, it allows gamers to communicate with one another during a game simply and for free. Discord is currently valued at around $700 million and is planning to rule over the $1.7 billion worth of voice chat market. This brilliant application allows gamers to function better and simpler, helping bring eSports to new heights.
In an industry made up of so many passionate members, there are some truly amazing small businesses that are worthwhile keeping an eye on, each one with the potential to change gaming as a sport and as a hobby. Here are just a few:
Challengermode. This Swedish startup has an eSports platform where gamers meet to compete and socialize around the biggest PC and console games in the world. With a mission to make “eSports as accessible for non-professional gamers as regular sports are for regular people”, they have created a digital gaming arena, where non-professional gamers can come together and participate in large and small, national and international competitions. Making competitive gaming more accessible to the public is an incredible development in the world of eSports
Another company that we truly love called OverWolf. Overwolf is a company with a mission to create value for every gamer in every game. They have achieved this by creating Appstore with extensions for video games. These extensions are often focused on providing in-game services that would normally require a user to exit the game. Other extensions provide game-specific features that can remind users about certain in-game events, easing the game experience. Having recently gained $16 million, Overwolf is a fast growing company with an interesting future ahead of it.
An underlying factor in most eSports companies and one that keeps this industry thriving is the gamers. An industry based on community, sharing a common passion, is what makes eSports as incredible as it is.