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 As games evolve from consoles to cloud, the characterization of the esports industry is also maturing.

Esports Industry Keeps Growing, And Growing

As games evolve from consoles to cloud, the characterization of the esports industry is also maturing. Esports has evolved into a professional endeavor, and today's industry includes images of admired adults from all over the world donning their respective league jerseys under clouds of confetti with cash prizes in their pocket. Old-school sports fans may grunt at this notion, but the reality is clear; the esports industry is on track to emulate and even surpass major league sports in terms of revenue and viewership. If you're a gamer looking to turn your passion into more than a hobby, there couldn't be a better time. 

The Growth of Esports

According to a recent Morgan Stanley report about the industry, esports was estimated to be worth $700 million in 2017 excluding game publisher revenues. This amount is projected to increase by 32% a year leading into 2020, when the industry will be worth $1.5 billion. Video games are unique in that they are inherently international, and esports is not confined to any one geographic boundary. This contributes to high viewership numbers in esports streaming, and in 2018 alone it's estimated that 6.6 billion hours of esports video will be streamed worldwide. The International Olympic Committee is even considering adding esports to the 2024 Summer Olympics roster.

The inception of major sport leagues was historically volatile, so the rapid growth of esports is an achievement in and of itself. This is the main reason why major league sports executives are beginning to take notice and buy their own franchises. These sports league veterans in sponsorships and advertising recognized the opportunity, and are simply swooping in to make money off an already well-oiled machine. The game League of Legends (LoL), for example, started in 2009, and only 8 years later its World Final garnered more online viewers than the NBA Finals and NCAA Final Four television viewers combined. Past North American League of Legends Championship Series filled arenas of comparable size to NBA and NHL games. Just over a year ago the Philadelphia 76ers became the first professional sports franchise to acquire LoL esports teams, with other notable sports franchises following suit soon after. 

How You Can Get Involved

If you’re looking into becoming an esports professional gamer, as with any other sport, practice is key. Pro-gamers suggest picking one game, practicing using the recommended equipment for that game (with specs configured for optimal performance, of course), and sticking to it until you’ve built a reputation as a skilled single player and team player. Once these steps are complete, pro-gamers suggest enrolling in as many tournaments as possible, to gain experience competing against different levels of players, to network and to attract an audience. Once you have a solid reputation, a supportive gaming community, and the right accolades under your belt, sponsorships help in gaining the necessary equipment to compete, placing you in a esports team and ultimately establishing a consistent salary. Oh, and one more thing. To be a pro-gamer, you will need to win at a pro circuit level. If you manage to complete this list, you too can enjoy the fruits of your labor and participate in the ever-growing billion dollar industry that is esports.