The fast growth of eSports industry across the world is expected to create strong competition for the global poker market and its monies.
Writing for Forbes, Darren Heitner a lawyer and leading expert on sports and entertainment law has highlighted that the expansion of eSports was a real phenomenon, occurring across the world.
Canadian lottery operator Loto-Quebec has launched the first legal gaming platform for eSports, heralding a new phase in its growth.
Darren Heitner has cited the results of a recent in-depth analysis that evaluated the monies involved, key players and the scope of the two games and found that poker for the time being has an advantage over the eSports market. The primary reason for this is due to the enormous prize pools involved in poker tournaments that eSports currently doesn’t have.
According to the report, the eSports industry is likely to go up by 43 percent in 2016 and be a $463 million industry. On the other hand as a result of online poker’s worldwide popularity its value is likely to reach $40 billion in 2016.
The popularity of eSports can be measured by the rapid increase in the viewership of live eSports events. Almost 40 percent of China’s smartphone owners which numbers around 600 million, have said that they have watched an eSports event. But TV viewership for eSports is still far behind the poker industry as the poker market has a number of established poker programs and live tournaments such as the World Series of Poker (WSOP) which draw a massive fan following all over the world.
Heitner also noted that while eSports has its celebrities such as Peter Dager, they are yet to crossover to the mainstream and reach the high levels of fame and popularity that poker stars such as Doyle Brunson enjoy. He however said that this was largely due to the relative longevity of poker and its history of broadcasts on TV.
In Heitner’s opinion, the ease of access via the internet along with the availability of platforms like Twitch has the potential to bring eSports to the forefront. Twitch in fact brings together fans allowing them to even converse with each other during matches.
The eSports industry continues to grow in population due to a number of options such as the ability to wager on the outcomes of eSports games. Heitner estimates that given these advantages the game will grow fast and witness similar success to that of the poker industry. He believes that it is only a matter of time before the eSports industry hits the coveted $1 billion mark.