Esports is a fast-growing industry that has already demonstrated great resiliency amidst the crisis following the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts expect the industry to continue expanding throughout 2022 and beyond. Here are some of the esports trends to watch out for in 2022.
Co-streaming is a practice where two streamers play together. The practice grew significantly last year, with the trend likely to grow even more in 2022.
The main goal of co-streaming is to increase viewership and revenue for platforms. By co-streaming, players introduce their fans to the other players, and some may end up becoming shared fans of the two players.
Large esports players like Riot Games have engaged in co-streaming, which has seen the number of their fans grow significantly.
Experts project that esports will continue expanding in 2022, as more people tap into its benefits to grow their audiences and generate more revenue for their platforms.
2. Esports and Traditional Sports Are Merging
Esports and traditional sports are different sides of the same coin. More traditional sports fans are also taking an interest in esports. This has driven advertisers and sponsors to invest in and run ads in both esports and traditional sports events.
The result is a growth in income for both esports and traditional sports. Esports are also adapting traditional-themed games, making them more attractive to audiences who already engage with traditional sports.
3. Diversified Revenue Streams
Esports has not fallen behind in the adoption of blockchain technology. The popularity of blockchain technology continues to grow due to its potential for transparency and immutable record keeping which can reduce risk and fraud.
Esports companies are starting to diversify their revenue streams by monetizing their fans directly through the adoption of blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
One way this this happens is through the inclusion of in-game NFTs and the adoption of play-to-earn blockchain games. Fans and players have so far responded positively as they buy their favorite in-game NFTs and goods while creating their unique collections.
Game developers also create cryptocurrency tokens that players can use to trade in-game merchandise. These cryptocurrencies have value inside and outside the gaming ecosystem.
The metaverse is another development that is creating a new income stream for esports. The metaverse, a conglomeration of virtual environments, is set to change the way players interact with game elements as well as the experience for fans who interact with their favorite gamers.
It also creates a new revenue pool with crypto-related sponsorships and partnerships with other key players in the metaverse.
4. Growth in Mobile Esports
Mobile phones are now more common than ever, and esports developers are providing mobile games for this market. Smartphones are expected to play a crucial role as esports mature and will contribute significant revenue to the esports sector, especially in emerging markets.
5G technology is also going to make it much easier for users to connect to mobile games from the stable internet connections that it provides.
Mature markets such as North America have seen mobile gaming become popular, especially with battle royale titles.
5. Growth in Casual Viewership
Casual viewership is a major part of the esports sector. These are viewers who are not overly invested in tournaments or online gaming. For them, esports is a way of engaging with their fans through platforms such as Twitch and YouTube.
The esports industry has come a long way, especially in the last two years. Esports is expected to continue expanding and developing. In 2022, we expect further co-streaming, more connectedness between esports and traditional sports, diversified revenue streams, expansion of mobile esports, and growth in casual viewership. Which other trends do you think will influence the esport industry in 2022?