Viewership for eSports grew by almost 20%from 2016 to 2017. By 2021, research by Newzoo predicts the industry will boast an audience of over 306 million people. Fans buy tickets to eSports tournaments, watch players online, and tune into viewing platforms like YouTube and Twitch to watch live coverage of their favourite eSports athletes. Twitch alone has seen a 12% increase in the number of people who view live streams on their channel with 3.8 million monthly viewers this year. The increase in viewers and the brand marketing potential has contributed to a rapid revenue growth in eSports, especially in a Southeast Asian market that has seen significant foreign investments for startups.
Facebook has extensive plans to bulk up its video programming catalog, and esports gaming looks to be a major part of its efforts. Esports league ESL announced Thursday it will broadcast esports content on Facebook later this year. As part of the deal, ESL will stream competitions from its Rank S series featuring matches from esports stalwart Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on Facebook. ESL will also broadcast a weekly 30-minute show featuring the best players and highlights from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive matches. All of ESL's content will also be broadcast in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and German.
As of tomorrow, Yahoo eSports will be no more. The site, which covers professional competitive video gaming, is a casualty of the Yahoo merger with AOL. The head of Yahoo eSports, Travis Gafford, said in a statement yesterday that Yahoo Sports would be focusing on aligning with the new company strategy. Gafford went on to thank those at Yahoo that supported eSports, his colleagues and members of the eSports community. "Additionally, I want to thank the eSports community.
Valve has learned a hard lesson about the importance of patience with game updates. The company recently switched to a rapid-fire two-week patch schedule for Dota 2, but has announced that it will delay patches when they coincide with major eSports tournaments. The most recent update arrived right in the middle of the Epicenter XL tournament, creating havoc for players who had less than a day to adapt to significant gameplay changes. Imagine if a football league suddenly changed the rules before the end of the season -- it'd be alarming if your sports career depended on it. This isn't necessarily issue with other games used in eSports.