The challenges of evolving esports

Albert Sheng • July 31, 15:00

As a form of competition, esports has seen its evolution move at a pace beyond what any traditional sports has ever managed. From tournaments in small houses and literal basements to selling out entire stadiums for matches watched the world over, the arrival of esports is unquestioned. 

However, the innermost core of esports, that of change, is one that relegates its various appendages to a perpetual state of flux. Unlike other forms of competition, the games contained within the esports banners are sometimes being traded out for new entries. Even within individual games, patches and updates can and do fundamentally shift the basis of how players and the audience engage the games being played.

The result of this reality is that games operating under the esports banner face unique issues. So why is it that both industry spectators and investors are so confident in esport’s future?

Base appreciation

One of the foremost drivers of esports comes from a natural love which many feel towards video games as an entertainment. Not just played for competition, games give opportunities for relieving stress and can help with some forms of mental acuity.

It is true that, over time, some games may fall out of favor or become stale, but the base love of gaming means that no gaps will remain forever open. Inevitably the audience will seek out something new, and if there is nothing in this space initially, hungry developers on the open market will fight to fill that space.

Exterior interest

Like traditional sports, esports has now proven so popular that many who are interested in its work exist outside of the gaming sphere.

For an example of this, consider online betting on sports like soccer, tennis, or volleyball. Many of the people who watch and bet on games such as these are not players themselves, yet their continued interest helps ensure a more robust overall environment. This idea especially ties into the following concept of esport’s developed infrastructure.

Developed infrastructure

Even in the most extreme conceivable cases in which a game rapidly loses esports support or the public’s interest, a game’s decline creates nothing approaching an infrastructural vacuum. Most games in esports share either the same or very similar equipment, so any single lost game in no way implies a complete writing off of the industry’s existing systems.

Instead, the myriad avenues that are already in place, from hardware to physical spaces, from to competitors and commentators, can all be transferred to at least some degree. While some restructuring will always be necessary for more pronounced issues that might result, no such obstacles in esports should ever prove insurmountable.

In the end, the major strengths of esports lie in its variety. With so much diversity in every facet of the esports landscape, the space has developed a strong framework. There’s no telling what the greater esports situation could be in another 20 years, but there is predictability in its continued popularity.

In what is essentially a community-led feedback loop of endless support, esports has destroyed its early limitations and is ready to face whatever comes next.

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