The analytical company Newzoo named the key trends in the development of the esports industry, which are worth paying attention to in 2021. Among them is the growing popularity of mobile titles and conversational streams, as well as the development of regional tournaments.The growing popularity of mobile esports

If PC games used to dominate the esports market, now mobile projects have begun to displace them.

At the end of last year, PUBG Mobile and Garena Free Fire surpassed the peak number of views of titles like CS:GO and Dota 2.

CS:GO and Dota 2 are still leading in the total number of hours viewed. However, PUBG Mobile and Garena Free Fire are already among the top 5 esports projects, and their popularity continues to grow.

Newzoo believes that this trend will continue in 2021, especially given the growing interest in esports in China, South and Southeast Asia, as well as Latin America.

Diversification of esports teamsEsports organizations will continue to scale their businesses, increasingly abandoning the structure of traditional sports.

We are talking about both positioning the company as a lifestyle brand and shifting the focus to content creation.

This approach reduces the risks of force majeure (for example, cancellation of tournaments due to a pandemic). Companies will be able to compensate for losses through the development of other activities.

One example of business diversification is signing up streamers and other content creators to teams. In such partnerships, streamers create content on the sites on behalf of the teams, allowing the rest of the organization’s members to calmly engage in operational tasks. 

Such collaborations also increase the interest of sponsors in the teams.

The growing influence of esports on traditional sportsLast year, traditional sports were forced to look for new ways to attract an audience.

For example, the NFL has signed a contract with Fox News to broadcast Madden NFL 21 tournaments.

Newzoo believes that in 2021 it will be possible to see even more examples of cooperation between sports and esports organizations.

Shifting the focus to regional tournamentsDue to restrictions on flights between countries, organizations will continue to develop tournaments from individual esports leagues and hold regional competitions.

This greatly affects the state of the esports industry, which has been developing around international tournaments for a long time. Newzoo notes that the well-established format of regional leagues will remain even after the end of the pandemic.

The rapid growth in the popularity of non-gaming streamsDue to the cancellation of a large number of events last year, brands began to look for new ways to interact with the audience.

As a result, Twitch and YouTube have become venues for concerts, political events and other non-gaming events.

Conversational streams have become the most popular category on Twitch, which was originally a playground. Newzoo attributes this to the fact that more and more young audiences are abandoning cable TV, and talks about the continued growth of interest in non-gaming content.

Other companies are also noticing this. For example, the Hanging Out category appeared on Facebook Gaming, in which conversational streams are conducted by analogy with Just Chatting on Twitch.