We asked esports founder and entrepreneurs for their predictions on what esports would look like in 2021. With the world recovering from the pandemic and a population mostly staying at home, we can expect the industry to continue to thrive.

These three experts gave us a holistic view of the industry and what we can expect for the new year.

Esports founders and entrepreneurs share their analysis of esports in 2020

Michael Patent, Culture Group

We spoke to the founder & president of Culture Group, a culture marketing agency, about esports in 2021 and he looked at the implications the industry had on the broader global economy.

The intersection of games, music, fashion, food and beverage and healthcare will continue to grow as the lines blur between these categories. 

Music: The share of eye and ear commanded by games will lead to a massive increase in the music industry’s embrace of games. As the gaming experience advances to offer more than game play, we will see more music and streaming platforms fueling the gaming community’s love for the game by providing game related soundtracks and playlists for fans to enjoy. 

The success of virtual concerts and virtual music groups like K/DA in 2020 has demonstrated the consumers’ receptivity towards virtual entertainment and will spur greater innovation and investment from the music and tech industry. 

Fashion: Fashion has become a nearly endemic category of brand partners – with several major fashion houses leveraging on the clout of esports and gaming personalities and gamers to provide greater relevance for their brands among the new generation of consumers. Gamers today have more reasons to flex their styles both online and offline and 2021 will see the esports athlete community evolve to become the emerging face of youth fashion. 

F&B and Healthcare: As esports takes centerstage in becoming the new ambition among a growing community of gamers, brands in healthcare and good categories will be paying greater attention to the curation of what a professional esports athlete’s lifestyle would entail. Much like the popularity of professional sport has brought about greater innovation in sports science and nutrition, a new category of brands will emerge in offering esports athletes products and services in cognitive health and performance.

Charlie Baillie, Ampverse

Once again the co-founder & CCO of the esports entertainment company touched on the growing relevance of esports amongst the wider community, and what this means for the amount invested in the industry.

With audience numbers rising and esports very much being on the radar for mainstream brands as a valuable way to engage with a hard to reach Gen Y audience – I expect we’ll see advertising and media dollars really start to flow into esports.

I think we will see more convergence between sports and esports with more Pro Football teams launching esports teams and other sports trial esports related initiatives.

We will also start to see more personalities evolve from the world of esports as their stories are increasingly told and picked up by mainstream media. 

Drew Holt-Kentwell, Catalyst esports

Surprisingly founder and managing director of Catalyst Esports Solutions took a more cautious approach, as the uncertainty when it comes to travel may impact global growth.

This depends largely on the options for global travel. While the space has certainly weathered and even taken advantage of the difficult global situation, esports (and a good deal of its revenues) are reliant on filling seats at tournaments, player performances, teams showcasing their brand and their sponsors’, and the content that you can only truly obtain from on-site production crews. If the space wants to grow, we’ll need to get back to that soon, but coupled with the current improvements in rich online content we can expect to see things likely much better than they were before in terms of the consumer experience.

At Tech Collective, we want to know what you think will define esports in 2021. Share your thoughts in the comments or drop us a message. We’d love to hear from you and also share your thoughts and opinions with our community.