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The eSports Trends that Will Shape 2016

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The eSports Trends that Will Shape 2016


Electronic sports – or eSports – have seen a great deal of growth in 2015 when it comes to the number of games, players and the monetary value of the industry. At the end of 2014, the industry itself had a value of $191 million, and by the end of this year it will surpass $500 million. The number of people interested in the events is also growing – this year it is expected to reach audience numbers comparable to the NFL. Everything is growing, even esports gambling.

So, what can we expect to see on the professional video gaming market this year?

First of all, game publishers seem to seek to take control of their titles. Valve has been organizing and co-sponsoring major CS:GO events, and Activision-Blizzard is also reportedly seeking to take the control of its events from independent organizers. It seems that the value of the eSports market has convinced them that it’s not something to overlook. And, of course, the major events will attract the top teams, the best players – and the biggest attention from the media.

TV networks will try to catch up with the world of eSports – finally. ESPN and BBC were the first to start airing eSports tournaments, and Turner has created its own CS:GO tournament to air on TBS and other of its channels. If for years streaming was the only way for eSports to reach their audiences, now network television seems to want in on a slice of the pie. Perhaps it’s the advertising revenue they expect, or maybe the goal is to attract younger demographics back in front of the screen?

Shooters like CS:GO seem to finally take over, while MOBAs seem to plateau in 2016. According to Toornament, this year will be a record breaker both when it comes to the number of tournaments and the number of active players (over 10 million). Other titles, such as Unreal’s revamped Tournament, and Blizzard’s Overwatch will cause the FPS genre to rise this year. Their supremacy will be attacked by CoD: Black Ops III and its World Leauge on one side, and Halo 5 on the other.

Last, but not least, we’ll most likely see less new MOBAs hit the market this year. Despite its heavy promotion by Blizzard, Heroes of the Storm seems to have issues. Apparently it can’t convert enough DOTA and LoL players in order to survive. No metrics have been released since the launch of the game, which is a strong signal, Toornament writes. The genre has two directions to take: up (like CS:GO) or down (like Starcraft). And the players will decide which way it will turn.

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