The Meteoric Rise of eSports

Picture this.

Thousands of screaming fans cheering for their favorite team.

The Lights. The sounds. The synchronized chants.

You are in an absolutely electric atmosphere.What are you thinking about, game seven of the basketball playoffs? Penalty kicks in a huge soccer game?

Well what I am describing is eSports, the hottest trend in gaming and depending who you ask, the hottest trend in sports.

While competitive gaming is nothing new, the explosive growth of eSports has been nothing short of revolutionary. What once might have been considered niche has gained universal, mainstream acceptance. With professional teams, leagues, even the category's acceptance into the 2024 Olympics, it's becoming hard for traditionalists to argue against the sports' meteoric rise. They've even had their own PED scandal, a morbid rite of passage for any professional sports association.

And while League of Legends competitions sell out stadiums in an hour, streaming services that cover eSports sell for nearly a billion dollars; one thing is true.

There is money to be made.The current Covid-19 pandemic has forced many leagues to shutter due to government imposed social distancing guidelines, one area that thrived is eSports. Flip over to any sports channel or a popular streaming service and you're likely to see some sort of competitive video gaming competition. Its inherent remote nature seems to make it almost quarantine-proof. Even traditional leagues such as NASCAR tried to get in on the fun, having popular drivers compete in iRacing events instead of traditional racing.

The global video game market is expected to hit $159 billion in 2020. That's four times what the North American box office was last year. Esports may only be a portion of that, but between streamers and terrestrial networks thirsty for content and the recent legalization of sports gambling, one could infer that the future is even brighter for eSports… especially when the future of traditional games with a bat or a ball look uncertain.

There are millions of gamers worldwide, and now more and more people are considering it as a career. A recent study showed 57% of male gamers 18-35 are considering eSports as a career and gamers 18-25 are playing online games more than eight hours a week. That's a lot of people spending a lot of time online. And behind each of those is an account that needs protecting.

TeleSign is a trusted partner of some of the world's largest gaming companies such as EA and verifies identities of thousands of eSports athletes worldwide. Platforms cannot take the risk of an account falling into the wrong hands when there is so much money on the line. Gambling will only muddy the waters, and as we have learned time and again, if there is a potential shortcut, fraudsters will find it.

Digital identity solutions are the perfect way to protect the integrity of a growing sport that is showing no signs of slowing down. By protecting its users with verification technologies and connecting the offline and online identities of these athletes (and those who hope to one day be) gaming brands can grow their networks securely and globally.

TeleSign has been connecting and protecting online experiences for over 15 years. We support the largest web properties in the world and we're prepared to help you. Contact TeleSign now and for all of your security needs. As the pioneers of phone-based security, we are one stop shop for all of your digital identity and programmable communications needs.

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