In 2022, the esports sector was worth almost $1.4 billion. Meanwhile, audience engagement continues to grow, with global audiences surpassing 500 million for the first time. Whether you’re an avid follower or an aspiring esports athlete, there’s never been a better time to be a gamer. While technological advancements are redefining at-home gaming, innovations are also changing the face of professional competition. Below, we’ll explore some exciting trends to keep an eye on in 2024 and beyond.
Mobile Gaming Becomes a Mainstay of Esports
Mobile gaming is nothing new. Games are one of the first things most of us download after investing in a new tablet or smartphone, with around a quarter of all apps downloaded to iOS devices being games. For developers, it’s a lucrative market, generating revenues of more than $92 billion in 2022.
Up until recently, mobile gamers have been largely neglected by esports organizations. However, there are some high-profile exceptions. Both Call of Duty: Mobile and PUBG Mobile have established esports leagues and assembled team rosters. Expect more tournaments to embrace mobile games in 2023 and beyond. This is particularly exciting for younger players or anyone without access to high-end gaming hardware.
More Cross-Platform Tournaments
A couple of decades ago, cross-platform gaming seemed like something out of the realm of science fiction. However, the introduction of Steam back in 2011 made cross-platform play a possibility. Today, many popular games can be played across multiple platforms, including Rocket League, Fortnite, and Hearthstone. At the moment, cross-platform competition isn’t really feasible, especially when it comes to more high-octane titles. However, with the rise of artificial intelligence, leveling the playing field between teams playing on different devices is fast becoming a real possibility.
The Rise of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence also has major implications for teams currently competing in esports competition. Until now, assessing your performance and spotlighting areas for improvement was a fairly involved process. With AI, players will be able to unlock powerful data analytics tools to improve their game. If you’re someone who spends hours looking through the latest 1337pro.com Dota 2 scores, these AI innovations will also help you access deeper insights into your favorite players.
Expect VR and AR to Play a More Central Role
Augmented reality and virtual reality are changing the way we play video games at home. However, VR technology is also set to make its mark on professional esports. With more up-and-coming players entering the fray with experience in VR technology, it’s almost certain that VR and AR games will take center stage at esports events in the next few years.
This is going to change things in a few ways. For one, expect new and immersive games to emerge as mainstays of the esports scene. What’s more, the general setup of a typical live event will have to change to accommodate these exciting technologies. While those LAN party-style setups will always have a place at esports events, be prepared to see a more physical approach to competitive gaming emerge.