You’ll soon be watching eSports in pubs and reading about it on the back pages of newspapers, says IGN.
The media giant – which runs global eSports event IPL – says that the sector is growing at such a pace that it could become a mainstream sport in as little as five years. Especially as games like Call of Duty are starting to feature eSports-inspired elements.
“It’s really just a matter of time,” said eSports general manager at IGN David Ting.
“We can’t know exactly when it’s going be accepted but if you look at the number of people watching, we believe that it’s going to be recognised as a sport by mainstream media in the near future, probably within the next five years if it continues this current trajectory.
“If you see more and more mainstream games like Call of Duty building it right into the game itself, it really does get the word out.”
IGN’s international publishing director Rich Keen added: “In terms of the UK, IPL video views is more than ten per cent of our total video views in the UK at the moment and it’s growing all the time.”
And IGN feels we’ll soon have a gaming equivalent to footballer David Beckham.
“It’s the YouTube effect. Ten years ago, people got a webcam and tried to broadcast themselves on the internet, and some people thought that was odd. But then they became the next generation of celebrity,” added Ting.
“It’s the same with games. Guys holed up in their bedrooms playing games and then all of a sudden, paychecks start coming in and it’s the YouTube effect. They will become the next generation of celebrity.”