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Esports Continues to Grow: A Brief Recap of 2018

Written by Colter Hawks 03 January 2019 Growth is the word when you think about how far esports has come. Year to year the industry gets bigger and bigger, with more tournaments and larger prize pools, esports is at all time heights and it’s still climbing. In this article I’m going to go over sections of the industry and talk about the growth that we’ve seen in those areas in 2018 and then wrap it all up talking about Midwest eSports and how we’ve grown in the past year. Professional Scene The professional scene in esports has seen a lot of changes and additions. Dota 2’s The International (a North American tournament) held a prize pool just north of $25.5 million. Epic Games announced that Fortnite would have a prize pool of $100 million across tournaments through 2018-2019. The Numbers are simply insane and I love it. Put that in perspective, the total amount of prize pools across all games in 2017, according to esports personality Scott Smith and research firm Newzoo, $117 million was given in prizes. Newzoo’s report also showed that esports revenue growth reached $906 million in 2018 and is projected to reach $1.6 billion by 2021. Viewership reached over 380 million people with 165 million of those viewers being consistent and the others being occasional viewers. That count is projected to hit 250 million consistent viewers by 2021. The Professional scene continues to grow and make moves. Overwatch League is getting more teams and it’s own arenas all across the United States as it heads into its second season. Collegiate and Semi-Pro The Collegiate and Semi-Pro scene are coming together. Colleges are starting to offer scholarships to players and there are more platforms now for these players to perform and hone their skills. It’s awesome to see acknowledgement from top universities and big names that want to get their hands in esports; universities like Robert Morris, Bellevue and Texas A&M.There are more online platforms than ever which cater to a lot of collegiate teams and now you are starting to see more physical events, like we do here at Midwest eSports. We support the growth of players and organizations who are trying to reach the professional level and proudly cheer on those who make it. In 2018 we also started to see more high school programs to add another stepping stone for the gamers that want to turn their passion into a career. Midwest eSports We’ve come a long way as a group. Starting as a club in university, to going out on our own to follow our passion, we’ve learned so much and couldn’t be more excited about what is to come. In 2018 Midwest eSports hosted 18 events across the Midwest. We continue to follow our mission to give players and teams physical tournaments they can go to and meet other gamers to not only prepare them for potential professional tournaments, but to help build a community and give these players a space where they can be with other like-minded people and have fun and support one another. We are excited for what 2019 has to offer, with more events and prizes, we can’t wait for you all to come experience what we have in-store. And to everyone who has supported us and come out to our events, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you. We can’t do what we do without you.