It has been predicted that competitive video gaming is due to surge in popularity in Malta, with dozens of eSports events and tournaments being promised by the largest entertainment group in Malta – Eden Leisure.
Having taken over Quickfire – an eSports event and video game company from Malta – they are now tapping in to a vibrant community of active, dynamic gamers. As one of the fastest growing industries in the world, there is a huge amount of potential for this explosion in popularity. Their first event will take place in September, with their goal set to deliver the best experiences for their audience. They hope to focus on both the local and international scene.
At Betting Gods, we’re really looking forward to seeing this develop. It highlights the global fascination for gaming, and the wide variety of opportunities available within eSports.
eSports is an exciting type of competition – facilitated through electronic systems, such as video games, all of the input of players and teams and output of the system are controlled by human-computer interfaces. This enables games to go beyond reality, providing a fun, dynamic and challenging-to-predict experience.
Some of the most popular type of genres for eSports are fighting, real-time strategy, first-person shooter, and multi-player online battle arena. There are a number of different tournaments, in which live broadcasts are available and prize money can be won by those competing. These competitions have played a large part in video gaming culture for many years, and Malta is now seeing this surge grow on their home turf. It is opening up eSports to Maltese locals like never before, giving them a chance to create national and regional events.
It was estimated in 2013 that there were 71.5 million people watching eSports worldwide. It was predicted by Newzoo that 427 million people will be watching eSports by 2019 – and that in 2016, 1.1 billion people globally were aware of eSports, which is set to rise by over 400 million people by 2019. Of the countries leading in awareness, China sat at 28%. Malta is catching up behind.
This explosive growth in popularity is largely thanks to coverage from local and global media, the amount of new leagues and events being created (such as those in Malta), and the intense effort from game publishers to make the sector known. The industry is surging beyond many people’s expectations. Newzoo predicted in 2016 that revenue from eSports that year would be $463 million, with this rising to $1 billion by 2019. It was reported by Kotaku that more people watched League of Legends rather than the NBA finals. In the UK, in 2016, 10% of the population were reported as watching eSports, while 3.4 million people were recorded as watching eSports occasionally.
One of the key festivals in Malta for eSports is ‘The GO Malta eSports Festival’, which provides those with a love of eSports with the opportunity to meet. 200 competitors joined in during 2016. There was also the launch of the Malta Electronic Sports Association that year too. The future is bright for eSports – especially in Malta, and with the recently rebranded gamers.com.mt (on which you can regularly see Betting Gods branding) things can only get better.