Newzoo has released a new report with its predictions for trends in esports and game-related live streaming throughout this year.
The report details that after many years of console and PC games leading in esports, mobile esports have now captured millions of fans worldwide, and are continuing to grow rapidly.
Newzoo suggests that battle royale titles are paving the way for mobile esports and that this form of esport is developing quickly in Latin America and Southeast Asia particularly.
Two of the most prevalent battle royales in the mobile esports space are Free Fire and PUBG Mobile, which have also seen popularity in emerging markets with regional leagues and big player numbers. For example, Garena's biannual Free Fire World Series (FFWS) draws in a high number of viewers, recently reaching 5.4 million concurrent viewers at the FFWS 2021 in Singapore.
Arena of Valor (Honor of Kings), League of Legends: Wild Rift, and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang are all competing to be the top mobile esports MOBA with each looking to expand its presence in new regions.
Overlapping with Newzoo’s Games Trends to Watch in 2022, one trend the company expects is for blockchain to become more prevalent.
As more than half of esports revenue in 2021 came from sponsorships, many companies are looking to diversify their stream of income in new ways; blockchain and NFTs offer one such way.
In the esports space specifically, the audience is young, growing and, notably, is largely positive in its reception of NFTs.
Whilst the opposite can be said for gamers, who speak negatively about blockchain and NFTs, Newzoo suggests that this difference is due to NFTs in esports being usable in loyalty and reward systems instead of impacting the game directly.
As the relationship between esports and blockchain and NFTs has already begun, Newzoo expects further developments this year.
Esports companies are also moving into traditional sports, as in the case of esports team Evos recently announcing a real-world basketball team.
You can find Newzoo's full report here.