Over the past few years, esports has only become a stronger force in the video game world. In size, revenue, and fame, the industry has blossomed.
As 2021 starts to unfold, there are some pieces of industry news that are giving fans a peek into what the future of esports might be like. From Riot Games making big moves to mobile games changing the market, there is so much going on in the esports world that could evolve the scene.
Valorant Masters Event
Valorant (from Riot Games) came out last year as a burgeoning, quickly popular multiplayer shooter. It fits a perfect niche between Overwatch and CS:GO, where top-notch FPS players use superhero abilities to shoot out enemies and capture or defend points.
Valorant was a game-changer last year because it snatched away top players from Overwatch and CS:GO, but this year it will only cause even bigger waves for Riot Games.
Not only will the Valorant Masters Event possibly catapulting the game to the top of the esports charts, but it could also possibly prove that Riot (who already run LoL, one of the most popular esports MOBAs) can be a leader in multiple esports genres. With rumors of Riot making a new fighting game, this could be just the beginning of their company becoming a multi-genre competitive gaming powerhouse.
DOTA 2 Prize Money
DOTA 2 is really looking to set records in 2021. Every year, it seems they try to make their grand tournaments bigger and better, and 2021 is no different.
In 2019 DOTA 2 held their Internationals and set a new record for the largest prize pool in esports history: $34 million. Before that, they pushed the record higher for several years straight.
Breaking all previous records, DOTA 2 plans to offer up $40 million for the International this year.
Tournament events are always a ton of fun, so don’t miss any new esports events by keeping up with the Weplay Esports events calendar. In the coming months, WUFL, the Dragon Temple, and more will entertain esports fans across the globe.
Clash Royale Finale Prize Pool
Even among esports, mobile gaming has never been taken all that seriously. However, it’s clear that the brains behind esports don’t quite agree. Over time, mobile gaming tournaments have been growing bigger and bigger, from mobile PUBG to the upcoming LoL Wild Rift, which is already one of the most popular mobile esports in Asia (its demo region).
The Clash Royale Finale prize pool this year is set to be a whopping million dollars, proving that mobile gaming has a place in esports. And that it can become just as big as the other popular esports genres out there.
Philadelphia Eagles and the Esports Entertainment Group
Heading into 2021, esports is continuing to evolve more and more into the mainstream. One of the most influential and telling signs of this is the news that the Philadelphia Eagles are building an Esports Entertainment Group under their organization.
They first announced it in December of 2020, but since then, other deals have solidified their momentum, making it an ongoing story that’s changing esports into 2021. For example, the New England Patriots and Revolution have announced that they’ve signed a deal with Philedalhpia’s EEG to use their images for promotional material for esports events.
It means that EEG is taking their business move seriously and will continue combining traditional sports with esports to create a whole new platform.
New Business Model for Esports Teams
Esports teams have always relied on sponsorships, advertisements, and viewership to fund their business ventures. However, 2021 sees a very official swing into more specific brand deals.
Now, esports teams are becoming brand ambassadors and getting decked out in full sponsorship gear. Think of players like how NASCAR cars look. This can apply to everything from drinks to uniforms to computers. For example, if a team is sponsored by Corsair, you better believe that they are completely decked out with all their gaming tech (and only their gaming tech).
This was already a popular way of team financing, but as esports become more popular, the trend will only grow. This year, the clothing brand Tokyo Time has become sponsor of the esports gaming group, Misfits, creating a multi-year deal with them.