TAMPA (September 6, 2019) -- Just over a month ago, the video-game rage Fortnite crowned a champion. A 16-year-old gamer not only bested the rest, but walked away with a $3 million prize to the cheers of 15,000 gaming fans crowded into a New York arena. His winnings were only a part of the $30 million purse awarded to other contestants along the way.
Playing video games for fun – and now profit – has gotten as close to mainstream entertainment as it can and is positioning itself as what may be the next prime-time phenomenon.
And the Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program is riding the crest of that wave by sponsoring the inaugural USF eSports Summit later this month. Gamers and executives from across the nation will gather at the Muma College of Business to offer insights about the rapid emergence of this thing called esports.
Video gaming has grown from Pong into a sophisticated industry now that features main events of gamers pitted against each other in venues full of raucous fans. According to Newzoo, a worldwide leader in games and esports analytics, the global esports industry is expected to exceed $1 billion in revenue in 2019, representing 27 percent in year-over-year revenue growth. Global esports viewership is expected to hit 450 million in 2019, which is a 15 percent bump from last year. These staggering stats are the basis for predictions that the market’s innovation and popularity are attracting wider interest and more importantly, new investments.