The mobile esports is trending
At the very beginning of 2018, the row of specialists made an assumption that mobile games will be the main trend in the nearest years. Mobile games showed a significant growth not only in terms of a number of viewers but in terms of the level of organizing and hosting large competitions over the last year.
Arena of Valor is the obvious leader in these terms. The game has managed to win hearts of Southeast Asian fans and to become the most popular game in the region. The world championship showed incredible numbers in this game: 1.120.455 viewers on the peak and 423.602 of them were not from China.
The game had fantastic growth in popularity last year. In 2019, considering all rates of the previous world championship, new records in terms of a number of viewers are expected. The Asian success must be strengthened with new competitions and a bigger coverage in the world segment. In its turn, the developers need to think about entering new markets. Only time will show how big potential Arena of Valor has.
Clash Royale has become another mobile game, which becomes popular. Unlike the previous game, its growth was not that steady and systematical during the whole reporting period. Besides this, the decisions about the organization of tournaments made by Supercell seem questionable. But the first Clash Royale esports season can be confidently called successful. This reflects the competent development of the game as an individual discipline. In 2019, the developers of the game will have to work hard on the organizational level of their competitions and try to change the development vector. South America is the game’s most active audience. Maybe, is it worth to focus on this region?
PUBG Mobile has become a real sensation. And this result can’t be called surprising, especially after the furor made by the PC version of the game. Relying on the statistics, PUBG Mobile has managed to displace King of Glory from the leading position in the Chinese region. This reflects a huge potential and a big interest in this discipline. The mobile MOBA has a multi-million audience at competitions. But PUBG Mobile has even bigger potential. We have only to hope for the developers’ wish to develop their child.
Disciplines in the Battle Royale genre
PUBG became more than just an esports discipline last year. Big contracts with organizations for players, the creation of the whole community, the emergence of many tournaments and league of different scales. But PUBG lost to Fortnite clearly in terms of simple entertainment. But PUBG is still considered to be the leader of the genre as an esports discipline. So it’s worth to expect the future development of the game and retention of the major part of the audience.
Fortnite has not the best relationship with the esports segment. The esports infrastructure and system were not created over the last half a year. The professional side of the discipline is still a big question. Players don’t understand what to expect from the discipline in a month without talking about a longer period. The developers don’t want to see a friendly and homely atmosphere in the game, which doesn’t fit professional sports. Perhaps this is what slows the development of the game’s whole infrastructure.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is a new large player on the Battle Royale market. The developers have rich esports experience and Call of Duty tournaments have been having significant viewers for a long time both in Europe and in the USA. But Activision says nothing about the esports side of the genre. Probably, 2019 will become the opening of the Battle Royale genre for them.
MOBA games are the esports leaders
There is a serious competition between League of Legends and Dota 2 in 2019. First of all, this is evident if you take a look at venues for large tournaments. The International 2019 will leave the Western hemisphere and go to conquer China. It will give the tournament a large boost in the face of Asian viewers. And if one of the Chinese teams reached the final match, ratings will be unthinkable. The International 2019 will be the most rating tournaments in the history of Dota 2, about which we can confidently say right now.
But there is League of Legends on the other coast. The discipline will move from Asia to Europe where the final will take place in Paris in 2019. Due to this, the discipline will lose a strong Asian audience. 2019 is expected to be less popular for the game than the previous year. But there is the other side of the coin. If any team from the European and American part of the world repeats Fnatic’s success, having made it to the final, the English-speaking audience will follow an online broadcast with big attention.
How the second season of Overwatch League will show itself is one of the main questions in the genre in 2019. The number of teams has significantly increased, there are two additional teams from Europe and China. This cannot but make an impact on the number of viewers, having improved the statistics of views comparatively to the first season But it is still unclear how big the increase of the audience will be.
But there should be no serious changes in CS:GO. The discipline is being developed in Europe, America, and even China. StarLadder Berlin Major 2019 is one of the main tournaments, which will be hosted in September and will have to set a new record in terms of reaching an audience.
Rainbow 6 Siege is represented as the main competitor of CS but it is still far from its opponent. But it’s worth to notice that the first large tournament was hosted in February 2019 – Six Invitational 2019, which prize pool was equal to 2 million dollars. This sum is two times bigger than the biggest prize pool in the history of CS:GO. The developers treat their child gently, developing the process of popularization first. Now, the game has official broadcasts in many languages, showing a nice quality of the organization.
Digital collectible card games
Hearthstone is the unconditional kings of the genre. But the constant decline makes to say that the game will lose its position soon. The developers have already announced that big emphasis will be made on online tournaments in 2019. The sum of grabs is expected to reach 4 million dollars in 2019. By the way, this number was bigger at 700 thousand dollars in 2018.
Artifact will have to become the main competitor of the mastodon of the genre. But all plans on leadership can be destroyed by the failed marketing together with the horrible economy, which has already alienated many players. Now, the game struggled not to leave the market. It is supposed that the Artifact analog of The International might fix the situation.
Magic: The Gathering might become the main card game of the year. The developers are doing to spend more than 10 million dollars on the promotion of the game. Also, the company’s plans include a partnership with many professional players on a contract basis.