How eSports should thrive in 2019

Posted on: Jan 14, 2019 By smartlaunch in News and trends,

In 2019 and beyond, the accessibility of esports to wider, more mature audiences will matter. Fans need to reject toxicity and push players, talent, teams, organizers, developers, and publishers to be more accountable. If esports is to thrive, rather than merely survive, these are the difficult, long-term challenges that must be addressed.

In 2018 — like in every year in recent memory — esports got bigger, but what if that isn’t enough? All of this growth hasn’t borne out in the ways that are meaningful or sustainable. Investment and sponsorship money continues to pour in, but valuations are trading at levels that revenues don’t support. Epic can afford to declare that they’ll spend a nine-figure sum on Fortnite esports because the game itself made USD 3 billion in profit in 2018, not because there’s the remotest chance their tournament events and broadcasts will recoup those costs.

Growth isn’t the solution to those problems; growing up is. 2018 wasn’t the year that players unionized to protect themselves. Say what you will about the players association for your sport of choice, but it exists to ensure that players are treated fairly, which no esport can currently say they do.

Notorious for its failures to be welcoming or inclusive, esports can’t seem to stand up to the handful of bad actors that continue to drag the whole industry’s reputation through the mud. Esports needs more inclusion, and weaponizing the few authentically diverse folks competing as if to say, “But we already have diversity!” is a mistake.

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