John Parker, board director of M&C Saatchi, will be shining a light on the eSports industry at the ICE VOX eSports conference on Tuesday, February 6th.
According to a Newzoo 2017 report, there is currently a Global eSports audience of 385 million which is projected to grow to 600 million by 2020.
It’s a sport that has been organically growing over a number of years which has seen a real growth surge leading to interest from sponsors, broadcasters and the media in general, said Parker.
“As a mainstream sport, I can’t see many reasons why it wouldn’t be sustainable, the volume of gamers across the globe only continues to grow and increased exposure will increase that pool of talent. Also, games publishers are able to innovate and improve the gaming experience both for the player and the viewer much quicker than traditional sports can, so the ability to shape the product is something that can keep the games fresh and the experience exciting, not to mention the opportunities that presents for sponsors,” he said.
When asked whether eSports may become an Olympic sport, Parker said it couldn’t be ignored.
“There will always be the argument that eSports isn’t a ‘real sport’ and it has no place in something as prestigious and sporting as the Olympics,” said Parker.
“I think that’s incredibly naïve. If it involves skill, dedication, physical exertion and entertains a watching public then, for me, it’s a sport. Of course, the levels of physical exertion for eSports professionals is going to be less than for those running the marathon or playing 70 minutes of hockey, but that’s the beautiful thing about the Olympics. There is a wide range of sports that appeals to a broad range of ages and demographics. If there is a place at the Olympics for Dressage, Skeet Shooting and Golf, then there is definitely a place for eSports.”
Featuring 110 tier-one speakers delivering 70 hours of learning, ICE VOX has been curated to provide ‘front foot’ thinking on the issues of the day and, in the process, provide delegates with the insight to shape and enhance their businesses.
The nine tracks of ICE VOX 2018 comprise: Monday, February 5: World Regulatory Briefing (day one); The International Casino Conference: Tuesday, February 6: World Regulatory Briefing (day two); Data Science & Personalisation; eSports; Game Design & Development, including the Game to Watch competition: Wednesday, February 7: Blockchain; Cybercrime & Security; Modernising Lotteries; Sports Betting USA.