Esports is an ever growing phenomenon. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to see their favourite players taking on the best teams, following their efforts and actively taking part in the community. The problem with video games, however, is it is a heavily over saturated market.
With more and more game developers appearing by the day, there are countless titles on the market for fans to get involved in. Be it a new Battle Royale, strategy game of massive online battle arena, there is something for everyone to enjoy. This is brilliant for the fans, as they will always find something to sink their teeth into that suits their style, be it competitive or otherwise. While a gift for the everyday gamer, this is becoming a problem for the world of commercial esports.
There are a few standout tournaments that started early, such as Counter-Strike and Starcraft, that are almost synonymous with esports. What is becoming an issue is the rate at which new games are developing esports followings, splitting the market into smaller fractions. If a Dota 2 fan gets bored, they can easily move onto League of Legends or Heroes of the storm, meaning the fanbase for Dota becomes smaller. People, of course, can like more than one esports title – though there are people who will find their favourite and stick to it. This means if a television station decided to start a pay per view tournament for Fortnite, there will be people who prefer Player Unknown Battle Grounds or Ring of Elysium who won’t want to pay for the Fortnite viewing. This will ward off big corporations from wanting to create expensive content for a specific video game as their market is essentially divided between loyal fan bases.
Of course, one could argue that this only benefits the industry. Not all games necessarily want to engage with such an audience and thrive off Twitch viewings. Others are happy with their smaller following as it makes the competition much more difficult. There is no definitive answer to the problem because it is a different situation for each game – though there isn’t any harm done by actively watching different esports scenes from time to time.