2018 has been a truly exciting year for the eSports industry. Some would even go as far as to say this was a turning point when it comes to esports. This industry has seen some monumental progress this year, not just in terms of events and prize pools. This post aims to discuss some of the most interesting eSports facts and events in 2018.
The way we see it, competition or the competitive scene might be the key to eSports’ success. When looking back about a decade ago, nothing essential has really changed, meaning gamers are still playing CS and WOW, but the one thing that dramatically changed is the competitive angle that brought an incredible amount of passionate fans that are crowning esports to be their favorite sport. It is what brings more viewers, motivates professionals to up their game and most importantly inspires lower-level players to keep aiming for something big.
When looking at events, we saw an incredible increase in offline events. The top four events in eSports this year generated 190.1 million hours of live viewership together. This was a 6.9 percent increase from 2017 with total prize money of over $150 million, and over 3200 tournaments worldwide.
2018 was an outstanding year for eSports competitions. As a case study, we took a well-known competition called “The international”, a competition for the game DOTA 2. It had the largest prize pool in the history of eSports in 2018, reaching over $25 million. Despite this phenomenal figure, the League of Legends world championship, known as “Worlds 2018”, won the award for the best eSports event in “The Game Awards 2018”. Overall an amazing year of competition for the industry, continuing to show constant growth in viewership and prize pools.
Over 50 video games across consoles and PC are considered to be eSports, with professionally organized leagues and tournaments offering millions of dollars in prize money for the very best players around the world to win. The massive success of the industry in the past seven years has led to more games across more genres being developed. The most popular competitve games in 2018 include; Call Of Duty, CS:GO, DOTA 2, League of Legends, StarCraft and of course Fortnite, that has shuffled the cards and changed the rules.
With 2019 around the corner, we made a list of three games we think you should keep an eye on and will kick hard during 2019: Fortnite, Overwatch and NBA 2K.
Fortnite has been popularised greatly by mainstream media and is relatively well known by the general population. As eSports lovers, we embrace this, obviously.
Overwatch is definitely not a new game (released in 2016), but with the support of big brands and incredible media coverage, we now witness the exponential growth of the game. According to esportbet.com, Overwatch is one of the most played competitive multiplayer first-person shooter worldwide, averaging 14.4 million monthly users across PC and console merely a year after its launch. It is certainly a game to look out for.
Finally NBA 2K is a wonderful case of the growth of the industry and 2K18 is set to be the first title in the series to be played as an eSport thanks to the NBA 2K League, a joint venture between the National Basketball Association (AKA — NBA) and 2K Games Interactive to create a professional eSports league for competitive virtual basketball.
To say 2018 was an incredible year for eSports would be an understatement. The incredible pace of growth in the sports hints to an even better 2019!