Once considered a niche and untapped market composed mainly of men, the esports industry is now booming and filled with undiscovered potential, more women gamers and millions of eyeballs. “Esports,” also known as the online gaming industry, is increasing in popularity and harbors a multitude of opportunities for brands and influencers alike. For those of you who are just now learning about the gaming industry, it consists of the monetization of video games and gaming equipment, and more recently has started to include video game content, influencers, professional players and tournaments.
The difference between content creators and professional players (“Pro Players”) in the gaming space is subtle but important. While the two are not mutually exclusive, they serve different roles within the industry. Similar to the National Football League (NFL), first-party hosts hold national and worldwide tournaments for different video games, where professional players will compete against various teams. You can loosely think of this as the Dallas Cowboys playing the Denver Broncos, if this game were to take place digitally around the world.
Content creators within the space are the modern influencers we see on platforms like YouTube, Twitch, Instagram and TikTok. While there are content creators that also play professionally, like TenZ (@tenzofficial), a professional Valorant player for the Sentinels, the majority of gaming influencers prioritize their own platforms and communities while staying up to date with the ongoing tournaments.
Now why should we be keeping an eye on the gaming industry? Simply put, it’s the future! The gaming industry harnesses the power of the most in-demand generation: Gen Z. Brands continue to ask the question, “How do we tap into Gen Z?” and the answer may very well lie within the gaming industry. According to a recent report from Research and Markets, the global esports market size is expected to reach USD 12,494.3 million by 2030.
As brands start to recognize the potential of the gaming industry, we’ve seen several campaigns beginning to break into its full potential. Below are a few examples of brand partnerships on Twitch.
In the gaming or esports industry, breaking through the influencer space looks like live streaming on Twitch, along with posting on other social channels such as Instagram, Tiktok and Twitter. This unique way of incorporating brand partnerships can provide visibility to brands for longer periods of time, with Twitch livestreams averaging 1-3 hours long.
As previously mentioned, the esports industry has historically been a male dominated space. Women have been inadequately represented in the gaming industry, both in viewership and with influencers, but this is beginning to change as more females enter the space. When it comes to brand partnerships, female gamers have great appeal as they often boast cross-platform influence.
All in all, the gaming industry will continue to develop quickly as the majority of Gen Z consumes content within the space. Along with that, influencers will continue to be a huge component of the gaming industry’s growth. To get ahead of the competition, reach out to our team of influencer experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written By: Cassandra Staalenburg, Influencer Marketing Coordinator