In the United States alone, more than 100 million people admit to interacting with the ever-evolving world of eSports in some capacity — whether as a fan or as a participant. 

The increasing strength of 5G wireless technology has transformed eSports from solely existing as live tournaments to an event that one can spectate from home, online or on television. 

The popularity growth rate for eSports has been exponential in recent years, begging the question of how big the industry can become. There are 2.6 billion gamers worldwide, and that number grows as the latest generations enter a world that, in their experience, has always had good broadband and connection speeds, putting the best of the gaming world at their fingertips. 

Despite some staggering numbers and an enviable growth curb, many believe that eSports will continue to grow because the industry is still in its infancy, reaching prominence in the last decade as internet speeds improved. 

Live streaming on Twitch, YouTube and other mediums are helping to create a community in the eSports world. No longer do participants have to attend live events to meet and bond with their fellow competitors. While that will always have its allure, there is an online community forming that stirs a competitive spirit and kinship. 

The Game Haus blog writes of the growing popularity, saying, “sports is also accessible to all ages, meaning much younger players and those who have arrived to the video game later in life can still achieve to join in the action. Regardless of the reason for watching eSports, the fact is that eSports is now more accessible than ever before.”

Insider Intelligence reports that the industry is set to surpass $1 billion in revenue for the first time in 2021. Asia-Pacific, North America and Europe are by far the three largest eSports markets. North America leads the way with estimates that eSports will generate $300 million this year. 

Gaming consoles and personal computers are still the preferred devices for eSports, but mobile gaming on your phone is likely the next stage of growth for this phenomenon. As phones continue to evolve, the power to competitively game from them will as well. 

Screen size might not be the issue that it was once thought to be. Sure, it is natural to prefer to see your game on a 60-inch television, but with Airplaying and casting to televisions, successfully gaming from a phone is becoming more attractive. 

Ed Dixon, a journalist for Sports Pro Media, writes, “As a result, the study (from Newzoo) says the live streaming audience for games will reach 728.8 million by the end of 2021, a ten per cent increase over 2020’s audience number. That rise is expected to stabilize once COVID restrictions are lifted, but growth rates are still expected over the next few years. The live streaming audience total is on target to hit 920.3 million by 2024.”

In some ways, the global pandemic helped the world of eSports because people lost other options to compete or collaborate, but top competitors continued gaming because it could be played remotely. In turn, the number of spectators rose as well.

Sports viewership has been on the rise since 2016, but the pandemic increased the amount of people who report moving from an occasional viewer to an enthusiast. In one year, the number of viewers rose to nearly 40 million. 

With this rise in viewership comes a rise in sidebar industries surrounding eSports like gambling. Apps that allow users to offer predictions on eSports are growing, and all of these new technologies are combining to further increase interest in the eSports world. One app even offers trivia, which users can answer to earn points and acclaim.