Esports 2023 is bound to be one hell of a ride. Since the rise of video games, esports rose to new heights and continued the upward trend without looking back. With the absence of the COVID-19 pandemic that locked down the world, we can only expect esports to rise above and beyond expectations now that live events are back online.
One of the big developments of esports events in 2022 was the return of fans to live esports events. Other global developments, like the Russian invasion of Ukraine, also had a major impact on the futures of some of the biggest teams in their respective spaces.
Events of this kind will almost certainly affect esports in 2023, which goes to show how the industry no longer works in isolation. The esports industry is now overlapping with many other major industries.
A report claims that esports will have a global revenue of $1.87 billion by 2025, and another report from the same source claims that the industry’s value will reach $5.74 billion by 2030. If all of this comes to fruition, it is safe to say that the esports industry in 2023 will certainly see growth in value and revenue in the upcoming year.
Mobile Gaming On The Rise?
2023 could also be a big year for emerging sectors within the esports industry. Mobile gaming esports is one sector that is certainly picking up in Southeast Asia. For now, esports is mostly identifiable with traditional games like League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Dota 2, but that might soon change with mobile esports increasingly becoming one of the mainstream sectors.
Games like Free Fire, Arena of Valor, PUBG Mobile, and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang have recently gotten peak viewership of over one million viewers across many events.
With so many fans in the eastern part of the world, it’s time that these events get the same sort of funding and marketing as esports events popular in the west. There is a lot of interest in these esports events.
2022 Esports Game of the Year: Valorant in 2023
Valorant rocked the world since its release, quickly becoming the rising star in the esports industry. Gaining popularity at a ridiculously fast rate, the 2022 Esports Game of the Year award was well deserved.
For the upcoming year, Valorant introduced franchised leagues. The franchising system allows multiple teams to compete in a single competition throughout the year. Instead of tournament winnings, the teams receive a stipend and revenue from purchased skins.
There are no eliminations in this league as such. Teams will continue to play unless they do something outside the contract that violates terms and demands expulsion. There will be three collective regions instead of seven. These are The Americas, Asia Pacific, and EMEA.
In The Americas, there will be regions like NA, LATAM North, South, and Brazil. EMEA includes European regions, including France, Turkey, Austria, and Switzerland.
The Asia Pacific includes South Asia, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Korea, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Oceania. The champions from the winning region get to bring three teams from their region every year.
While there might be a cause of confusion because of the franchising. The domestic leagues, international events, and global world championships are still going to be part of the Competitive Valorant scene.
Old Dog Dota 2 is Still Going Strong
Since its inception in 2016, Dota 2 is still going remarkably strong especially when its age is accounted for. The grandfather of esports is still one of the most popular esports games up to this date.
The International 2022, Dota 2’s largest esports event of the year, recorded a peak viewership of 1.7m during the finals between Team Secret and Tundra Esports. According to Esports Charts, TI 10 saw around 2.7m peak viewers. Both editions took place in October, with The International 2022 taking place in front of a live audience.
The International is one of the most notable esports tournaments in the world and marks the end of Dota 2’s competitive season. The numbers might seem bad when compared directly to the previous edition, but context is key. The International 2022 only recorded around 200,000 viewers less than its 2019 edition.
The most notable viewership impact was felt from Russian-speaking platforms, with Russia historically providing a large number of viewers for the Dota Pro Circuit in general. The number of Russian viewers this year fell by around 500,000 to 700,000. Whilst not quantifiable, it’s likely that Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine could have impacted potential viewership.
Dota 2 is ranked among the top four esports disciplines ranked in the 2022 average public watch. The statistics are provided by the Esports Charts service. According to this report, in 2022, Dota 2 streams were simultaneously watched by 1 751 086 people at the peak. This is only 3 times higher than the maximum of all broadcasts.
Despite its old age, expect the Competitive Dota 2 scene to remain alive for an indefinite time.