League of Legends’ a video game that has become more than just “a typical video game,” has started a revolution, and turned one company into a billion dollars business. That said, this isn’t something that happened overnight. This was something that has happened slowly over the last several years.
Twitch, a website dedicated to broadcasting games online was recently purchased by Amazon due to the large scale revenue that these types of platforms are drawing. Now, a massive company called Esports has become the first to truly master the art of competitive gaming. Millions in prize winnings, professional players, on teams that earn a salary that is – more than just recreational, or part time money – and audiences that rival professional sporting events.
While it probably isn’t the event you’re going to take your entire family, it is an event that appeals a great deal to individuals who are immersed in the industry. Particularly, 15-25 year olds. These are the individuals that companies like this are vying for.
The teams are expansive, but how much money is “a lot of money” and enough to live off of? Well, the top 10 players with the greatest winnings within the ‘League of Legends’ franchise cashed in on $8.18 million so far, and really the industry has only begun to get tapped.
Last year, the final event of the ‘League of Legends’ competition was viewed by 32 million online and filled the 18,000 seat Staples Center. Tickets for the event were sold out in 2 hours, and demand was increasingly high on secondary marketplaces as the buzz around the event continued to spread wildly.
Esports isn’t the only big money name in the industry though. As it turns out, advertisers and sponsors are flocking to the events to cash in on the market as well. Perhaps this is the greatest tell that the market has expanded into a serious industry as compared to the niche market it was once considered a few years ago.
American Express, Coca-Cola, and many others are just the few that have already arranged sponsorship agreements with the gaming community, as it becomes the gaming industry – and the companies that make these games become more involved.
At the end of the day, it really comes down to understanding that this only the beginning. Esports is the biggest company in the industry, but moving forward many can expect more to enter as time goes on, and more money flies into the playing field. In many ways, it’s like watching a new professional sport in birth, with a long, long way to grow.