When video games first began, it was unfathomable to imagine the way they would be played competitively today. Sure, some fans of classic games liked to compete with one another, setting and breaking records. The classic tradition of entering one's initials to save a score in an arcade cabinet shows that video game fans have always enjoyed flexing their skills. Still, that practice is a completely different world from the multi-million dollar state of esports currently defined by every game from Call of Duty to League of Legends to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It's becoming more and more profitable to be good at a video game.
That's why anyone who loves video games but doesn't pay much mind to esports should think about looking at it more closely now. Competitive gaming has exploded financially, and trends show that esports is only going to get bigger and bigger over the coming years. What's more, esports are becoming more mainstream as people outside the industry -- especially people affiliated with traditional sports -- show more interest in understanding competitive video games and getting involved in them. Those outside the esports community should consider keeping an eye on their favorite games and figuring out how they mesh with this expanding market.
All kinds of research has found that esports will be getting bigger and bigger over the next few years. That's because video game developers like Riot Games, Blizzard, and Activision are investing heavily the competitive sides of their games, as are other companies interesting in providing the venues and teams that'll compete in their games. One good example is OverActive Media, the owner of the esports team Mad Lions. OverActive's esports arena in Toronto is being built for a staggering half a billion dollars, and plans to seat seven thousand spectators at a time. This tremendous venture shows that investors see a lucrative future for competitive gaming and are willing to make some huge long-term investments.
It's not just those directly affiliated with video games that are putting money into esports, though. Athletes, coaches, and team owners from groups like the NBA are showing more and more interest in esports by the year. For instance, basketball legend Kevin Durant and his investing company recently announced that they're putting money into Andbox, an esports group that has teams for lots of competitive shooters, including Call of Duty and Valorant. People like Kevin Durant are responsible for making esports more visible to those outside the game industry and for giving esports the funding it needs to keep expanding.
It's clear that the esports industry has a bright future ahead of it, considering all the dedication that's coming from game developers and the financial backing of outside forces of all kinds. Seeing how much work is being put into making esports a heavy hitter in the entertainment industry, fans of all kinds of video games should really pay it mind. Inherently competitive AAA games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate might be obvious choices for esports, but it seems more and more like any game could be a worthy contender in esports. Even relatively casual games like Fall Guys could have exciting esports scenes in the future.
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