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The Impact of Esports on the Games Industry 2023



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The impressive rise of competitive gaming since the outset of 2020 has caught many among the technology press by surprise – though this is not to say that it was not to be expected. Over the past 5 years, Google Trends has identified a 500% increase in search terms pertaining to esports.

Elsewhere, player numbers for legacy esports have been trending towards all-time highs since the mid-point of the previous decade, and sales of gaming laptops have similarly enjoyed their best sales period in many years.

The core contributing factors behind the esports surge of the 2020s are many and varied, though the fact that the maturing scene was perfectly positioned to benefit from the economic disruptions that hampered the propagation of its physical sporting counterparts is seen as the chief cause. Irrespective of this, esports was always going to break into the mainstream at some stage in the 2020s, and this merely accelerated the process.

Now in 2023, competitive gaming continues to grow at a phenomenal pace, and analysts project that it should break $3 billion in annual revenues by 2027 – not bad for a market that was scarcely capable of maintaining a mere 300 million back in 2015. This enormous impact is now coming to influence all aspects of the games industry today, as we shall explore below.


Increased Interest in Online Games

The growing popularity of esports is having a knock-on effect for all forms of online gaming, even those that do not functionally incorporate competitive multiplayer elements into their design.

At present, the most popular format of online game played in the world today is that of online slots. Leading platforms furnishing gamers with these titles, such as VegasSlotsOnline, which features over 5000 individual titles including one of the largest online repositories of free slots available anywhere – are likely to absorb the influence of esports before long. By incorporating leaderboards, competitive play and even importing game mechanics from popular esports genres like the MOBA and battle royale, slots may well find themselves at the vanguard of a pivot towards converging with the competitive gaming market.

In general, the coming years will likely see developers seek to incorporate esports elements into game design across the wider online marketplace to leverage the benefits of the esports boom.


Furthering the Public Validation of Gaming

No small part of the modern games industry’s success can be put down to the fact that those in the crucial 18–35-year-old professional spending category grew up on home games consoles. They thus lack any of the hang-ups of prior generations around this, once new, media format. A young adult today is as likely to buy a new games console as they would have a hi-fi system or DVD player in the late 90s, and this has done much to validate the industry in the general public’s perception.

Though the undeniable fact is that the cultural conversation surrounding gaming still tends to denigrate it. After all, while millions of people around the world eagerly track which films do well during awards season, very little ink has been spilled in comment on the runaway success of recent games like God of War Ragnarök or Elden Ring.

Esports will likely help the ongoing validation of the industry, as professional gaming athletes acquire widespread recognition for their considerable skill and talent. As the world of esports further integrates itself into the wider sporting landscape, those who care to praise the sporting prowess of quarterback Tom Brady may become increasingly likely to recognise, support and champion the careers of prominent gamers such as Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyljev.



Boosting the Development of AR and VR

Augment and virtual reality have until recently been something of a white elephant for the games industry. The sophistication and potential of such technologies to revolutionise the way we play and watch games is unprecedented, but the lack of widespread development and the prohibitive cost of dedicated VR hardware has thus far limited its adoption.

Esports may well catalyse the uptake of these technologies, as the potential for ‘floating camera’ spectatorship using VR could totally alter the way esports matches and streams are broadcast. Likewise, should a new generation of esports adopt these technologies, this should massively increase public appetite for proprietary hardware capable of delivering this experience, and may bring overall costs down.



S8UL bags ‘Esports Content Creator of the Year’ award consecutively for the second year at the ‘Esports Awards’23’



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In a remarkable feat for the second consecutive year, S8UL, India’s leading Esports organization, has secured the prestigious ‘Esports Content Creator of the Year’ award at the Global Esports Awards 2023 on Friday night in Las Vegas. S8UL has established its position as a trailblazer not only in the Indian Esports community but on the international stage as well.

The brainchild of Esports industry veterans Naman Mathur (Mortal), Animesh Agarwal (8Bit Thug), and Lokesh Jain (Goldy), S8UL made history by outshining global contenders such as Christian ‘IWDominate’ Rivera, Timothy ‘ITZTIMMY’ An, The Score Esports, One True King, Judo Sloth, Last Free Nation, Loud, Tribo Gaules and other well-renowned names. This victory marks a significant milestone for S8UL and elevates the stature of Indian Esports worldwide.

Lokesh Jain aka Goldy, Co-Founder of S8UL and 8Bit Creatives shared his thoughts right after the coveted win, “Winning the ‘Content Group of the Year’ award last year was an incredible milestone for us, and to follow it up with another one this year is beyond words to express our gratitude. This achievement is a testament to our dedication, the hard work of our creators, and the endless support from our fans. S8UL has changed the way gaming and content is perceived in India. We are not just creating content but we are shaping the future of Indian Esports & gaming creators economy on a global scale.”

Since its very inception, S8UL has been the frontrunner of gaming content in India. With a clear vision, they have brought together some of the best gaming content creators under one umbrella to create engaging and entertaining gaming content, which is enjoyed every day by millions of their loyal viewers.

The high calibre of their Esports talent which includes Mortal, Scout, Payal, Mamba, Snax, Rega, Krutika, Sidd, Kaashvi, and many more is evident from the various Esports titles they have been winning over the years including the inaugural ‘Global Impact on Mobile Gaming’ award at the MOBIES earlier this year.

“Winning in this difficult category twice, against some of the biggest names in the industry is a surreal feeling. These milestones let us know that we are on the right path with our vision and also give all of us something to celebrate at a time when the industry is undergoing significant transformations. This victory rounds off yet another historic year for the community. Thank you to the incredible team, our fans, and everyone who believed in us! We are ready for even greater things in 2024! Onwards & Upwards, as always.” said Animesh Agarwal aka 8Bit Thug, Co-Founder of S8UL and 8Bit Creatives.

Besides S8UL, Naman ‘Mortal’ Mathur, the co-founder and widely regarded as the ‘Face of Indian Gaming and Esports’ has also been nominated for the ‘Esports Personality of the Year’ category at the awards. The award was claimed by Disguised Toast.

Mortal has consistently been representing Indian Esports at the global Esports Awards, having been nominated for the ‘Esports Personality of the Year’ last year. Prior to that, he had won second place for the Streamer of the Year for two consecutive years in 2020 and 2021.

“Being the only Indian organization to win not once but twice at the Esports Awards is a moment of pride not just for us but for the entire Indian Esports fraternity. This award recognizes the incredible work of our talented creators, team players, and the incredible support from our fans who have been religiously watching our content for the past few years. It gives us immense pride to witness S8UL’s innovative and exceptional content redefining the gaming content landscape of the country and propelling its growth. We are motivated to continue defying expectations and revolutionizing the gaming landscape globally,” said Naman Mathur aka Mortal, Co-Founder, S8UL who was there and collected the award on behalf of S8UL at the award night.

Dedicated to showcasing top-class performance and innovation, the Esports Awards recognises excellence in Esports and ensures that success and achievement of Indian Esports is celebrated globally. The 2023 edition of the awards was hosted in Las Vegas where prominent names from the Esports community all over the world were in attendance.

Going into what promises to be another exciting year for Indian Esports, S8UL will continue reshaping the landscape of gaming content and setting new benchmarks on the international stage.

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ESL FACEIT Group Unveils the ESL Impact 2024 Program in Counter-Strike 2



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ESL FACEIT Group (EFG), the leading esports and video game entertainment company, announced the 2024 program for ESL Impact – the all-woman Circuit in Counter-Strike 2 (CS2). As the ESL Impact Season 4 Global Finals draw near and teams are getting ready to battle it out in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the immersive gaming lifestyle festival, DreamHack Valencia, the anticipation is running high among players and fans alike to discover plans for the following year.

Launched at the beginning of 2022, ESL Impact is one of EFG’s #GGFORALL program initiatives. For almost two years, it has inspired women Counter-Strike players and fans to follow their dreams of being a part of the professional esports scene. ESL Impact provides teams, talent, players, fans, and more with a dedicated ecosystem, creating a more diverse and equal gaming environment for everyone. Since its launch, the circuit has paved the way for numerous professional and aspiring women rosters to showcase their skills, compete at the highest level, and further their development in the esports scene.

To consolidate and improve the ESL Impact Circuit, there will be a number of changes to the tournament approach and regional slot distribution in the upcoming year, all of which are available on their website.

The 2024 program for ESL Impact will again elevate the excitement and competition to the highest with two online league seasons, live Global Finals at DreamHack festivals, and monthly Cash Cups on FACEIT:



ESL Impact League Season 5 Open Qualifiers

  • February 12 – 18, 2024.
  • Teams from Europe (EU), North America (NA), and South America (SA) can battle it out in their regional open qualifiers to secure 12 spots (four for each region) in the ESL Impact League Season 5.


ESL Impact League Season 5

  • March 6 – April 21, 2024..
  • The 28 best teams (16 requalified teams from the previous season and 12 teams from the open qualifiers) from EU, NA, and SA will battle it out in their regional online league.
  • The top four teams from EU, the top two teams from NA, the top one team from SA, and the Wildcard Qualifiers winner qualify for the Global Finals at DreamHack Dallas.


ESL Impact League Season 5 Global Finals in Dallas

  • May 31 – June 2, 2024.
  • Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, Dallas, Texas, USA.
  • Competing for a share of the $150,000 total prize pool and the coveted title, the eight top teams from around the globe face off in front of a live audience at DreamHack Dallas.


ESL Impact League Season 6 Open Qualifiers

  • August 2024.
  • Teams from EU, NA, and SA can battle it out in their regional open qualifiers to secure 12 spots (four for each region) in the ESL Impact League Season 6.


ESL Impact League Season 6

  • September – October 2024.
  • The 28 best teams (16 requalified teams from the previous season and 12 teams from the open qualifiers) from EU, NA, and SA will battle it out in their regional online league.
  • The top five teams from EU, two teams from SA and one team from NA qualify for the Global Finals at DreamHack Stockholm.


ESL Impact League Season 6 Global Finals in Stockholm

  • November 22 – 24, 2024.
  • Stockholmsmässan, Stockholm, Sweden
  • With $150,000 of the total prize pool at stake once more, the eight world’s best teams will gather in the capital of Sweden to battle it out in front of a live crowd at DreamHack Stockholm.


Additionally, fans and players of all levels can expect thrilling matchups with Cash Cups, taking place online on FACEIT twice a month. These feature a $4,500 prize pool per Cash Cup, split between Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania, South Africa, and South America.

Stay tuned for more updates on the 2024 ESL Impact program. For more information about the all-women Counter-Strike circuit, make sure to follow ESL Impact on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and Instagram and visit the official website.

For more general information, check out or follow ESL FACEIT Group on LinkedIn.

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eSports confirmed as headline partner of F1-themed ICE Esports Arena and Esports Betting Conference



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Clarion Gaming has announced a prestigious new sponsor with confirmed as exclusive commercial supporter of the ground-breaking ICE Esports Arena (6 – 8 February, ExCeL London) and the influential Esports Betting Conference which is being held 8 February at the ICC Capital Suite, ExCeL London.

Will Harding Head of Esports at Clarion Gaming said: “I am proud to say that ICE is widely regarded as having led the way in terms of introducing Esports to the international gaming and betting community and we are delighted to be working in partnership with another sector leader in the form of

“Like us the team is passionate about Esports and the company’s track-record of providing clients with premium quality Esports feeds, AI-processed events data and the optimisation of risk management courtesy of its Managed Trading System will add to the Esports experience as well as the cutting-edge sector insight that we will be delivering both on the show floor and at the Esports Betting Conference.”

Previewing what delegates can expect from what will be the last Esports Arena held in London prior to the ICE relocation to Barcelona in 2025, Harding confirmed: “The Arena is all about delivering authenticity and using the in-person experience to bring the business-building opportunities delivered by Esports to life. Our theme for 2024 is F1 and we will have two professional racers competing head-to-head to demonstrate the dynamic world of Esports racing. will unpack the action and provide live gaming odds which will be displayed around the ICE Arena.

Attendees will also be able to immerse themselves in VR and haptic feedback racing, compete on four connected simulated rigs and participate in the sponsored Pit Stop Challenge.

“The ICE Esports experience is completed by the Clarion Gaming curated Esports Betting Conference which enables delegates to help shape the landscape of Esports wagering drawing on expert insights from Rivalry, Better Collective and”

In addition to the Esports Arena and Esports Betting Conference visitors to ICE will have access to 600+ exhibitors, thousands of product launches and the opportunity to engage with leading international thought leaders, decision makers and regulators across all gaming sectors and verticals courtesy of the world-class ICE VOX learning platform. More visitors than ever before are expected to attend ICE 2024 motivated by the desire to make more connections, gain more inspiration and benefit from more learning.

Registration to attend what will be the last edition of ICE to take place in London prior to its relocation to Barcelona in 2025, is open at https://ice .reg .buzz/step/1?ticket=exhibition-pass.

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Prague Gaming and TECH Summit 2024


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