There will be some day more fans of a player Fortnite What about Leo Messi? Will you overcome a final of League of Legends in an audience to the Super Bowl? Will we see awarding Olympic medals to eSports players? Few would say that an affirmative answer to any of these questions could take place in the near future, but the visible heads of the videogame industry are part of this optimistic minority with its sector.
Magazine ESPN, one of the most important sports publications in the US, brings Tyler as the protagonist of the cover of his latest issue Ninja Blevins, professional player of Fortnite and the streamer -The most popular person in the world who is recorded playing video games and broadcasts it through the Internet. There is no doubt that the paradigm shift is falling, the question is how long it will take to happen.
"It does not make sense to ask ourselves if the videogames will be mainstream in the next few years because they already are, "says Marc Torné, brand manager of the ESL eSports organization for Spain and Latin America." Maybe we will see a major revolution in the next year or in the next three, but the market already exists and it grows exponentially. "
Torné shares the stage with other experts in the sector in a conference that is part of the agenda of the South Summit, the largest entrepreneurship event in Spain, which takes place from October 3 to 5 in Madrid. Beside him, Mounir Zok, general director of the sports technology firm N3xt Sports, highlights the embryonic state of the industry and argues that it is the right time for companies and entrepreneurs to intervene in the ecosystem, before the market begins to become saturated . "The most attractive part of eSports today is its low entry cost," he says categorically.
The communication between electronic sport and football or basketball is more relaxed than you might expect. In the first there are also teams with players and coaches, there are referees, audience, merchandising… "They share the actors of the traditional sport, but they contribute an important digital component", adds Zok. This fact, together with the embryonic state of the sector, gives a point in favor of eSports: accessibility. "For a football fan, it is impossible to communicate with Cristiano Ronaldo, but it is not so difficult to contact social networks with a video game legend."
Although the internet reduces the distances between players and spectators and those involved in the world are more than aware of the need to cultivate their digital audience, this is not the only competitive advantage that the sector has. Fernando Piquer, CEO of the eSports club Movistar Riders, believes that the industry has a greater dynamism than traditional sports. "Football matches last 90 minutes and in some hardly anything relevant happens," he defends. "A game of League of Legends It lasts 30 minutes and you will never see a 0-0. "
Piquer attributes the rise of eSports to a cultural issue and ensures that precisely this will prevent them from becoming a passing fad. In the same vein, he rejects the conception of eSports as an exclusively juvenile entertainment. "When I was 16 years old, I played video games and still today, when I have time, I do it," he argues. "Audiovisual culture is created in the digital ecosystem and it makes sense to continue there."
A transcendental factor in the growth of the industry is technology. Arturo Castelló, one of the makers of the videogame event Dreamhack Spain, argues that virtual reality will be the next big step in consolidating an audience that will appreciate a new consumer experience. Although the numbers may also increase with the introduction of new titles with game dynamics different from the current ones. "This is what happened recently with Fortnite and it will surely happen sooner rather than later, "he recalls.
Castelló predicts that the eSports business model will evolve towards freemium and the subscription, copying the operation of companies like Netflix. "I think that, in a few years, people will be willing to pay to see a game of League of Legends", He says, convinced that the videogame competition will surpass the traditional sport some day, although conceding that there is still a long way to go. "If there is anything we can learn from traditional sports, it is to transmit values. We need to better define what we bring to our audience beyond entertainment, especially our younger audience. "