The past decade has seen a huge change for the growing esports space as it continues to lead the way for emerging sporting events as a growing audience is becoming much more interested in the space, but perhaps the biggest opportunity found has been within live streaming and all of the changes that live streaming has brought about. Some of the biggest games in the world have gained a much larger audience thanks to live streaming, the likes of Warzone at this call of duty review, through to newer emerging titles like FIFA which have been growing in popularity during the same period of time. But the big change that could be on the way is more aimed toward changing live sporting options as it opens a growing number of popular choices.
It is something that many have explored over the past year already, with the cancellation and postponement of many big events during the pandemic period, athletes and organisations alike turned to online opportunities largely through live streaming to deliver content to the fans. One space that had been successful had been within iRacing as big motorsport athletes pooled together in an effort to entertain the fans, but more than anything it has shown that there are growing opportunities in the online streaming space that live sporting could be taking more advantage of.
There have been some sporting events more willing to move online in recent years – football had a recent shift to enable some games to be streamed over Amazon Prime, and others like those in motorsport for example as F1 has held its own online platform for quite some time, but given they’re usually tied behind a paywall and have a number of other issues that make them less accessible for a wider audience, there’s still plenty of space to grow. Part of the huge success of esports is within the fact games can be livestreamed for free, without restriction, with many fans hoping that there would be a big shift in sporting to do the same, however unlikely that may be.
Whilst a wider change to free streaming options may not be possible, there may be an opportunity for gaming to change live sporting streaming particularly for the athletes and players that make up the big sports – it may enable the big names to get closer to their audience through live streaming directly with further potential for change a little further down the road. Those who have already made the shift across have certainly gained a big name for themselves on the big platforms like Twitch, and it’s expected many will follow, and may be the catalyst to help a bigger change in how each platform takes advantage of the other.