The prominence of Esports teams up and down the country has become a regular feature of modern life, and in Salford this is no different.
In 2020 Salford City FC launched their first eSports team, who play their games on FIFA 22, but many people are still questioning: what are these eSports teams?
Well to start with in simple terms, Salford City are currently attempting to win promotion to the premier division of esports, and are also competing in the esports Champions League, where the league table has similar rules to that of a professional football league.
👊🏽 Our squad for tonight’s @OfficialVPG action!
— Salford City eSports (@SCFCeSports) March 7, 2022
It’s also not just football video games that are used, games such as Rocket League, are prominent in Salford, with the Salford lions competing in the NSE Winter Championships.
This gives you an idea of how your local eSports team is doing and gives a relative overview of how the league is similar to the real life football pyramid that we are accustomed to, but many people still won’t understand why these clubs exist and how eSports originated.
What is Esports?
The term esports essentially describes the virtual world of competitive, organised video gaming. Competitors face off from different league’s and teams in games such as: Fortnite, Call of Duty and FIFA just to name a few.
Many people reading this who have never heard of eSports, or of even some of these games, will be questioning how this can result in an international business, which can be easily answered by the sheer amount of gamers who watch the eSport teams on streaming services such as Twitch.
Who watches Esports and why?
According to Stasista.com 474 million people viewed esports in 2021, and the figure is increasing each year, with it being expected that 577 million people will be watching eSports by 2024, which is an astonishing figure, that diminishes the viewership on many major sporting events.
The reason why so many people in Salford, and around the globe are so interested in this virtual phenomenon, is often due to younger people liking things that are fast paced and not too time consuming so they don’t lose interest.
A typical game of FIFA lasts 10-15 minutes and a game of rocket league is typically five minutes.
The demand for Esports is shown by University’s having societies for it, which includes the University of Salford.
Who plays Esports?
The majority of players are typically in their late teens or early 20s, although it is not that uncommon for people in their late 20s or their 30s to be some of the top players in the industry.
In Salford, the Salford lions are students from the University of Salford, and the players for Salford City on FIFA are primarily young players.
How much money is in the industry and will the industry last?
According to Statista.com the industry had a revenue of $1,084 million in 2021, which similarly to the audience of esports, has continued to grow every year since 2019.
It remains to be seen whether there will be a sustained success around eSports, but with the revenue growing every year, the viewership growing every year and the players being predominantly younger, it shows no sign of slowing in Salford, and globally.