How big will the industry be in 30 years time?
With esports now a $1billion industry this year and its popularity still rising, we ask the question – what does the future hold for professional gaming?
A gaming stage at Glastonbury, giant sold out 100,000-seater stadiums and even a place in the Olympics?
That’s where some academics feel esports could be by 2050.
After exclusively speaking to the experts, we’ve created some food for thought about how the industry evolves in decades to come.
Gaming at festivals such as Glastonbury or Coachella?
As many event organisers now look to bring in wider audiences and test the waters, gaming could be on the cards to feature at some of the world’s biggest festivals.
With comedy stages, poetry and circus acts becoming part of the usual attractions, could competitive gaming be an outlet to bring in new audiences?
Lincoln Geraghty, Professor of Media Cultures at University of Portsmouth in the UK, said: “Absolutely, the crossovers are there. Comicon for example in the last 30 years has gone from comic books to games to big marketing launches.
“So I see a space like Glastonbury, that has a subcultural prestige with people interested in explicit music and the relationship of music and games, people might be drawn to it.”
Esports in the Olympics?
Esports games are already broadcasted to millions of people around the world. Last year’s League of Legends World Championship semi-finals were watched live by 3.9million.
But what about on an elite, mainstream level? The Intel World Open was set to precede this year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympics before it was cancelled, a stepping stone for esports to potentially feature in the competition itself.
Professor Geraghty said: “This is something the Olympic committee is looking at and it would almost certainly provide a much safer space for this competition to take place.
“Whether it be a massive tournament on the scale of the World Cup or be included in the Olympics in 30 years time, it won’t be unexpected and won’t be a surprise.”
All colleges and universities to offer esports majors/degrees?
This is unlikely, but not impossible.
There are already cases around the world of university majors and degrees being offered in game design and for specific games themselves.
As more people in higher education take up these courses, the novelty may wear off and that could lead to more awareness of the power games have on society.
Professor Regan Mandryk, Professor in Computer Science at University of Saskatchewan in Canada, said: “You can now go through college on a League of Legends scholarship, that’s going to change the cache of being an esports athlete.
“I would like to see the stigma of it being a “nerdy” activity change. It’s going to be hard, but it will happen by more people being exposed to different aspects of playing.”
Regularly filling 100,000 seater stadiums?
Whether it’s the World Cup or the Super Bowl, thousands of people want to be there to see how sporting events play out.
And this is no different for esports, even now.
The Spodak Arena in Katowice, Poland held 173,000 people to watch the Intel Extreme Masters in 2017.
“People see their heroes in these gamers and esports personalities,” Professor Geraghty added.
“It’s only replacing the footballer on the pitch with a competitor on your computer screen.”
He said: “I wouldn’t be surprised to see a football stadium or convention centres sell out to see a huge gaming tournament.
“As content creators increase in popularity, people will pay to come out and see them in person.”
To better the understanding of mental and physical health
We all understand games can be stressful and frustrating at times, but the techniques used in a lot of the technology is actually helping health professionals understand humans more.
Despite many negative connotations, studies have found games can actually help our mental health, but also be used to understand the physical effects of stress and recovery.
“Gaming can be very good for you. There are lots of ways that it can help you recover from stress,” added Professor Mandryk.
“It can help you disconnect from the pressures around you. It can also help you connect socially with other people.
“We’ve done research that shows gaming can actually combat loneliness.”
But, how do we get the best out games in the future within other areas of society?
Professor Mandryk said: “Part of the answer is to stop being so afraid of games.”
“This is a very powerful median that we can leverage. There is a lot of motivational pull and people are devoting a lot of time to playing games so why aren’t we harnessing what’s great about them to better society.”
GGTech Entertaiment Appoints Cristina Carranza as Head of Global Sales
GGTech Entertainment has appointed Cristina Carranza as the new Head of Global Sales.
After almost ten years at Amazon and Twitch, Cristina Carranza arrives to reinforce the international team led by Eduardo García, who recently joined the company as Chief Product Officer.
Her professional achievements include the launch of Twitch Ads in Spain and the pilot development of global gaming programmes such as Amazon GAMERGY and Amazon UNIVERSITY Esports. With her international experience, Cristina Carranza arrives with the aim of boosting the company’s global growth and developing cross-border sales relationships.
“I have been working with GGTech for more than four years and I have fallen in love with their company culture, the great human quality of their team and their vision of what they want GGTech to become, making it the world leading company for entertainment, gaming, and esports. I am proud to be part of this project, developing the global sales and business strategy,” Cristina Carranza said.
“The digital entertainment industry, the streaming world and the ‘gaming boom’ are some of the drivers that generate this great business opportunity for which GGTech is ideally positioned, the challenge now lies in transferring this vision to other regions and sharing the brand’s products and services to the most passionate fans of the video gaming world,” Carranza added.
The addition of Cristina Carranza will provide GGTech Entertainment with the vision and skills of a professional with an enviable track record, backed by her 10 years of experience in the digital, e-commerce, entertainment and gaming sectors, developing international business for both retail and advertisers.
eFIBA Season 2 Announced with Record 61 Participating Nations and First-Ever In-Person World Finals at DreamHack Winter
ESL FACEIT Group (EFG), the leading eSports and video game entertainment company, and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) today announced the 61 nations participating in the second season of eFIBA, FIBA’s official NBA 2K24 tournament. Beginning October 3, national federations across seven regional areas will battle it out in the pro-am game mode to secure a spot in the first-ever in-person eFIBA World Finals at DreamHack Winter and a share of the €50,000 prize pool.
“After a successful inaugural season and eFIBA’s successful participation in The Olympic Esports Series, we are prepared to make the upcoming eFIBA Season 2 a landmark international event,” the Media and Marketing Services Director General for FIBA, Frank Leenders, said. “eFIBA allows us to reach new basketball enthusiasts and build a global community of players and fans who share a passion for the game.”
eFIBA Season 2 is more than doubling its participating federations and expanding its competition schedule. The event includes online regional qualifiers from October 3 to November 2 and regional finals from November 7 to 9 across South East Asia, Oceania, Middle East, Africa, North America, South America and Europe. The winning nation from each regional final and the top two from Europe will secure a spot in the eFIBA Season 2 World Finals 2023, taking place live at the immersive gaming lifestyle festival, DreamHack Winter, from November 25 to 26 in Elmia, Jonkoping, Sweden.
“The significant growth of participating national federations and the incredible feedback we have received from players and the community shows that eFIBA is on the right track to become a great offering to the NBA2K community,” the Sports Games President for EFG, Roger Lodewick, said. “Together with FIBA, we have crafted a bold and innovative sporting concept that serves the eSports community and connects with basketball fans. We are thrilled to tip off the second season.”
- EFG and FIBA announce the 61 national federations participating in Season 2 of eFIBA, the international NBA 2K24 competition.
- Tipping off on October 3, Season 2 of eFIBA includes six weeks of online regional qualifiers and regional finals for a spot in the first-ever, in-person eFIBA World Finals, taking place at DreamHack Winter in Elmia, Jonkoping, Sweden.
- Nations across South East Asia, Oceania, Middle East, Africa, North America, South America and Europe will battle it out for a share of the €50,000 prize pool and Regional Champion title.
- New to Season 2, eFIBA’s co-streaming program, will feature content creators, streamers and casters collaborating to grow the eFIBA community.
|Tuesday, Oct. 3||Europe Qualifiers||Stage 1|
|Thursday, Oct. 5||South America Qualifiers
North America Qualifiers
|Tuesday, Oct 10||Middle East Qualifiers
|Thursday, Oct 12||Oceania Qualifiers
South East Asia Qualifiers
|Tuesday, Oct. 17||Europe Qualifiers||Stage 2|
|Thursday, Oct. 19||South America Qualifiers
North America Qualifiers
|Tuesday, Oct 24||Oceania Finals
|Thursday, Oct 26||Africa Qualifiers||Stage 2|
|Tuesday, Oct. 31||Europe Qualifiers||Stage 4|
|Thursday, Nov. 2||South East Asia Qualifiers
Middle East Qualifiers
|Tuesday, Nov. 7||South East Asia Finals
Middle East Finals
|Thursday, Nov. 8||Europe Finals
South America Finals
North America Finals
Below is a breakdown of the national representatives in each regional area.
Europe (26): Albania, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Turkey and Ukraine
Africa (14): Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, DR Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia, Zimbabwe and Nigeria
North America (6): Barbados, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Puerto Rico and the United States of America
Southeast Asia (5): India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Philippines and Singapore
South America (4): Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Venezuela
Oceania (2): Guam and New Zealand
Middle East (4): Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Lebanon
This season, eFIBA actively works with the NBA2K community through collaborations with creators around the globe as well as co-streamers of eFIBA events with a suite of customizable resources including unprecedented access to gameplay feeds, overlays, opportunities to interview players and more. The suite of streaming tools is open to community streamers, who can apply for exclusive access.
Commencing October 3, the regional qualifiers and regional finals of eFIBA Season 2 as well as the eFIBA World Finals will be streamed on Tuesdays and Thursdays on eFIBA’s Twitch and YouTube channels and on FIBA’s Twitch and YouTube channels. Those looking to experience the action live can look forward to attending DreamHack Winter as tickets to the festival also grant access to the international NBA 2K24 competition. More information about the ticket types and prices can be found on the official DreamHack Winter website.
For more information around eFIBA, visit the official channels on X (Twitter), Instagram and TikTok. For more general information, visit eslfaceitgroup .com or follow ESL FACEIT Group on LinkedIn.
The Power Play: GamingTech CEE Panel Explores Esports and Gambling’s Thriving Synergy
GamingTech CEE is around the corner, taking place on September 26-27, 2023, at the prestigious Ritz Carlton Budapest. The leading event for exploring the latest tech innovations in the gaming industry within the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region promises to be a game-changer, featuring panel discussions on a wide range of topics.
The ultimate destination for industry professionals, innovators and enthusiasts, GamingTech CEE – brought to you by the #hipthers – offers a unique opportunity to gain a deeper insight into how the gaming industry is evolving within the region. With a focus on compliance, innovation, and networking, this event offers a platform for industry professionals and enthusiasts to stay ahead in the dynamic world of gaming technology.
The “Esports and Gambling: The Next Frontier” panel discussion will be moderated by Anne-Marie Furtschegger, Public Affairs Consultant & Advisor at Hipther. It will bring together industry experts, esports professionals, gambling operators, and regulatory specialists to explore the exhilarating realm of esports and gambling.
Esports has witnessed a meteoric rise in popularity, accompanied by a surge in interest in esports betting. Understanding the opportunities and challenges in this dynamic landscape is essential for all stakeholders. The panelists will examine the current state of esports betting, emerging trends, and the regulatory landscape surrounding this rapidly evolving industry.
A central theme of the discussion will be the symbiotic relationship between esports and gambling, with a focus on how the two industries can mutually benefit from collaboration while ensuring responsible gambling practices. The panel will delve into topics such as the integration of esports betting platforms, the popularity of in-play betting during esports events, and the potential for innovative wagering options tailored to esports enthusiasts.
Regulatory considerations will also be in the spotlight, including age verification, player protection, and integrity measures to maintain fair competition in esports gambling. The panelists will discuss the challenges and opportunities in establishing responsible gambling frameworks specific to the esports ecosystem.
The discussion will extend to the broader implications of the esports and gambling convergence, such as the potential for increased viewership, engagement, and monetization opportunities within the esports industry. The panelists will explore the impact on sponsorships, advertising, and the overall growth of the esports ecosystem.
- Vladan Blagojevic – Oddin.gg’s Marketing Project Manager
- Gal Ehrlich – CEO at BETER
- Péter Rippel-Szabó – Commercial and Sports Lawyer at Bird & Bird
- Urim Bajrami – Attorney at Law & Partner at STADLER VÖLKEL Attorneys at Law
Register to the event
GamingTech CEE is more than just a conference; it’s a platform for networking, knowledge sharing, and fostering collaborations in the gaming technology sector. Attendees will have the chance to connect with industry leaders, explore cutting-edge innovations, and gain a competitive edge in this rapidly evolving industry.
Registration is still open for those interested in joining this and other enlightening discussions and being part of the GamingTech CEE experience. Register for the conference now or find out more about GamingTech CEE on the official website.
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