An Introduction to Esports and the Innovations Behind Gaming

Updated: May 18

According to Business Insider and Deloitte, investments in esports in 2018 were around $4.5 billion from just $490 million in 2017, making for an astonishing year-over-year growth rate of 837%.

 

Luckily for the next generation of gamers, the gradual shift we've seen to a virtual world with crypto and NFTs brings ample opportunity to make a career by doing what you love.

Parents, it may be time to start investing in your children and their video game habits as the market size for esports projects to reach $2.89 billion by 2025.

The State of Esports = Traditional Texas Sports?

As outlined by the Harvard International Review, esports is the organized competition side of video games. The video games played in esports can range from team-oriented multiplayer online battle arenas to single-player first-person shooters (FPS), to survival battle royales (i.e., Fortnite, Apex Legends, Call of Duty Warzone), to virtual reconstructions of physical sports (i.e., NBA 2K, FIFA, or Madden). In sum, virtually every major video game has some form of a professional circuit.

Innovations have always been bigger in Texas, and esports is no exception. So much so that an esports stadium was built in Arlington in the same complex as AT&T stadium, the former home field of the MLB Texas Rangers, now named Choctaw Stadium, and the new Texas Rangers field, Globe Life Field.

The Esports Stadium Arlington (ESA) is the largest dedicated esports facility in North America, at 100,000 square feet. According to the stadium’s website, ESA houses the broadcast production facility that powers the Texas Esports Network, a multi-genre esports channel covering multiple competitive games, events, news, and more.

As you can see, esports is rubbing shoulders with traditional sports. Some of the biggest names in Texas sports have made investments in gaming. Namely, Dallas Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones, Mav’s owner Mark Cuban, and co-owner of the MLB Rangers Neil Leibman.

These investments come as no surprise as esports have more viewers in the U.S. than every other professional sports league except for the NFL.


Recent Gaming Developments in Texas


Esports has taken a foothold in Texas, and there are no signs of it slowing down. One of the most significant announcements in esports is the merging of Texas-based Envy Gaming with OpTic Gaming to form OpTic Texas. The beginnings of this merger have been in the works for years, with MLB Rangers co-owner Neil Leibman taking a majority stake in OpTic in 2017 under his holding company, Infinite Esports & Entertainment. Immortals Gaming Club later acquired Infinite Esports & Entertainment in 2019. With investments, and mergers and acquisitions aplenty, the future is bright for Texas’ place as an innovator in esports.


Check out our conversation on esports and gaming with Collin McCann on The Great State of Innovation Podcast.



 

Looking for more information?


North Texas - A Gamer’s Paradise: How North Texas is becoming an esports magnet, attracting big-name investors, new stadiums, and some of video gaming’s hottest teams. (D Magazine, 2018)