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Esports; the billion dollar industry we didn’t know existed

The entire concept making a career out of gaming was nothing more than a pipe dream since the first gaming console came out. Gaming was just our children sitting in front of the TV, or even using their handheld devices before bed. Today, it’s quickly turning into one of the most lucrative industries in the world. As an industry, Esports is today valued at over $1 Billion according to Business Insider and seeing even much more significant valuations by other sources. It has the potential to challenge the traditional giants and take them on at their own game (pun intended). It’s no longer just traditional sports like football, basketball, and baseball, there’s now a new kid on the block and he’s here to stay. 

While speaking in a CES 2021 panel, Seth Schneider, the product manager of esports at NVIDIA Corp.’s GeForce gaming division, said that esports was already going mainstream, with traditional sports athletes and other major names increasingly investing in the medium. We’re even seeing other entertainment industries jumping on game streaming platforms such as Amazon.com Inc.’s Twitch to try and grab a piece of the uninterrupted viewership.

Many mainstream names also believe in the potential of the gaming industry, with popular figures such as Post Malone and Drake investing in esports organizations such as Team Envy and 100 Thieves. We recently saw Cardi-B and Offset invest into Faze Clan. Big companies are starting to see the potential too. Obviously gaming fans are typically of a younger demographic, and this presents an opportunity for companies to capture customers at a younger age, which of course presents a more valuable lifetime customer. So, big businesses are beginning to ask themselves, why are we spending hundreds of millions of dollars in TV advertisements, Super Bowl commercials, and radio time when we can invest into Esporting events at a substantially lower cost and capture a much more engaged and valuable customer base.  

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And with the sector seeing such huge growth, it is no longer the huge organizations in the arena alone. Through 2020 and 2021 we’ve seen the growth of the next wave of esports organizations; like Team Assault, an organization most notable on Twitter (@TeamAssaultGG). Team Assault has quickly shifted and developed into a serious competitor in the space. Assault originally operated within Fortnite and has now begun branching into other titles like Valorant, R6, and Call of Duty. Assault has developed a player base that are competing on international stages, winning serious money in prizes, and gaining millions of views on social media. This is yet another example of how big of a business this is. What Assault has accomplished in such a short amount of time is truly unprecedented in any other industry. 

We actually sat down with Anthony Cruz aka Cass (Twitter: @OfficialxCass), the CEO of Team Assault; Freddy Ortiz, the owner of Assault (Twitter: @itsFreddylol); and the co-owner of Assault, Daysmiel Morejon aka Sae (Twitter: @Saelols) to find out a little bit more about Assault and what they see happening in the future of Esports.  Freddy and Sae start off by explaining that Team Assault was founded out of a passion for gaming. It began as friends simply supporting each other and having fun on the game, and from their early success, it organically grew into something much bigger. Anthony, who was brought on just this year to head the business, says that Esports is unlike any other industry and explains that in 2020, when the world shut down from the COVID-19 pandemic, Esports saw astronomical growth because of its virtual foundation. Anthony says, “The issue is, many people still just do not understand the space. While it’s a billion-dollar industry, the majority of people are still not educated on it. They still picture their kids playing games after school and the idea of that being a career somehow just cannot be understood. They don’t realize the incredible opportunity. They don’t realize that professionals work hard & dedicate their lives to this like any other sport of profession. They don’t realize that hundreds of millions of dollars are being generated every year and careers are being made every day. They aren’t aware that stadiums were being sold out pre-covid, and the top figures in the space are making more money than many of the biggest mainstream celebrities they know.” He goes on to say, “this is why we work so hard on Team Assault every day now. The opportunity in this industry is massive. It’s comparable to the internet in the late 90’s. People may still be doubtful now, but the numbers are there, and now it’s just a matter of time. Team Assault will be one of the largest ESport organizations and businesses in the world. And to the people that think this is just impossible, will be put into the same category as the people that told Jeff Bezos that Amazon would never take off. “

To provide an idea to some of the numbers that he was referencing, Team Assault has mostly been focused on the game Fortnite, which has brought in over 9 billion US dollars in just 2 years, and Fortnite is just one of many popular games. It’s hard to understand the true rate that Esports or the organizations within Esports is growing at or the actual potential that this industry has. But either way, it’s becoming apparent that gaming is no longer a casual pass time. This has evolved into a multi-billion-dollar industry and it’s time we all wake up and pay attention to the major shift happening before our eyes.  

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