PwC’s global esports leader Andy Fahey claims that under lockdown esports is the “only competitive ‘sport’ in town”. So far, The Grand National, Formula 1, Moto GP, Spain’s La Liga and Nascar have all run digitally. There’s more to follow and an increasing likelihood that more esports will fill depleted broadcast schedules.
Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, sports revenues were predicted by PwC to rise from $980m in 2019 to almost $1.8bn by 2023, a prediction that is being revised upwards by the accounting group.
In esports, the live stadium spectacle is gone, but the competition endures. Some competitions are pivoting to play-from-home models. There is a swell of players too; in the first week of lockdown, telecom giant Verizon said US domestic peak-hour online gaming was up 75%. This trend is consistent across the globe.