Sports to eSports
If you have ever had a dream of representing a top football club in the world that this could be well your golden opportunity. And mind you its not one of those contests where you buy a coupon and the lucky winner take it all its the world of video games which may help you achieve this dream. Yes the video games indeed, which have a reputation of spoiling a person’s grade but now they could well be the force behind a career which one would dream of. It simply does not matter if you are a world class athlete or not, how well can you dribble past defenders, in fact it does not matter if you can kick the ball or not as long as you can use that controller and beat the opponents.
This has largely been possible due to the emergence of “eSports” an umbrella term for competitive video-gaming, an industry that has mushroomed thanks to the spread of high-speed internet and the development of streaming platforms, such as Twitch.tv. The beginning of this craze can largely be attributed to the first-person shooters, such as Halo and Counter-Strike. Which with the spread of internet got evolved into more complex games like the so-called “multiplayer online battle arena” games of League of Legends. They have reached to a level where Professional tournaments are played in stadiums to live audiences of thousands and to a wider audience of millions streaming on the internet. Juts to put some crude numbers in 2013, it was estimated that approximately 71.5 million people worldwide watched eSports which has increased three times in two years to 226 million people. On the revenue side the global eSports market generated US$325 million of revenue in 2015 and is expected to make $463 million in 2016.
Thus it did not come as a surprise to many who follow EA Sports FIFA franchise Football game when Manchester City signed Kieran “Kez” Brown to represent the club in various eSports competition across the globe. The signing makes perfect business sense for the club for one it will help them expand into a market which is growing. the television rights and pre-seasons tournaments have helped clubs expand outside the home nation into new and emerging markets. By venturing into the esports they are targeting the millions of internet gamers.
For henceforth Mr. Brown will represent Manchester City into various lucrative online FIFA competitions, challenge the club fans, make gaming videos for the club website and a host of promotional activities all in the capacity of a Manchester city employee. And its not only Manchester City which has ventured into it, West Ham have signed Sean Allen, a player better than Brown in the online circuit who even has an official squad number assigned to him.
EA Sports long-running video game franchise is incredibly popular and is one of the primary ways how fans interact with the sport (outside of watching and attending football matches, of course.) And fans who are spread out wide in far off lands with different time zones this game serves as one of the prominent bonds with the sport. Thus by nurturing the FIFA community, both at an amateur and professional level, could help clubs to expand on the fan base. An expanded fan base means more money and more money means more on field signing thus esports are becoming are increasing becoming a niche market for football clubs to expand. For fans its like another opportunity to connect to their clubs and for football lover video gamer this is a dream job.