FNATIC ESports report shows esports have been a big 2020 winner

A lot of people have watched esports over the past five months

A new report from high-powered gaming and lifestyle organization FNATIC suggests esports has been a big 2020 winner in the times of COVID-19.

The 25-page FNATIC ESports report concludes that a lot of people have watched esports over the past five months. Furthermore, that is because there is a pandemic that requires people to spend time at home.

However, that is good news for esports.

The report examines COVID-19’S effect on esports, which now does much of its business online. Furthermore, that is good news for people with time to kill.

It concludes that esports has been embraced by traditional sports.

However, with COVID-19, a lot of sports like hockey and basketball moved to online play to keep fans interested. Think FIFA! and NASCAR! And golf!

It has not been uncommon to see stars of traditional sports leagues doing battle in the ESports arena.

Esports leagues pivoted

Also, after the cancellation of live esports events, many leagues were quick to pivot to online play. Think about how your memory of the ESL IEM Katowice CS:GO major was of an event taking place behind closed doors. Other esports events quickly followed.

The report says: “Given the relative immaturity of esports to traditional sports, it’s interesting (and a positive indicator of overall industry maturity) that esports tournament organizers were arguably the more proactive operators in managing the initial risks of COVID-19.”

On the downside, it is easier for fans to become excited about ESports when they sit in an actual arena. On the upside, you don’t need an arena to enjoy ESports. You can watch online!

And 31.6 percent of events made the quick move to onlne, with 23.5 percent cancelled outright.

Esports made some cheddar

Other big esports news from FNATIC is that game developers and publishers have made a lot of cheddar during the pandemic. Big winners are Rocket League, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Call of Duty Warzone, and Valorant.

Many, according to the FNATIC ESports report, have moved to cross-platform, open online tournaments with high community engagement.

Interestingly, however, many esports are now found on traditional television channels, including car racing and basketball.

But it isn’t all good news. Esports league operators and tournament organizers now struggle to make money. But it is good news for streaming companies like Twitch.

Over 5 billions hours of esports on Twitch are now watched weekly. Valorant is king. Followed by League of Legends and Fortnite.

The esports takeaway

Here is a big takeaway from the FNATIC ESports report’s conclusion: “The esports ecosystem as a whole will benefit from raised awareness and interest in gaming, particularly in consequence of its implicit legitimization by traditional media.”

However, there is a question as to whether new fans can be converted into consumers of gaming content. And also whether or not marketing budgets will target digital assets.

Mike Usinger once took the better part of two years to finish Grand Theft Auto. Over the course of his career he has written about everything from eSports to music to movies to travel.

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