The esports industry has grown in leaps and bounds in the past couple of years. We’ve come an incredibly long way, and aside from growing tournament prize pools and venue sizes, we’re starting to see the creation of more businesses that support and cater directly to esports fans. On January 6th, Sébastien “7ckingMad” Debs, the coach of the 3 time Major-winning team OG, announced the launch of his own esports travel agency, appropriately named Esports Travel. The company supplies tickets, flights, and accommodations to help fans to visit a variety of esports events.
Here's something I've been working on that I'm really excited to announce, the first travel agency for esports! https://t.co/PTAv7rYFS6
— 7ckngMad (@7ckngMadDOTA) January 6, 2017
A marker in our progress
It can be difficult to gauge the progress and recognize what it means for companies like Esports Travel to emerge. Other organizations like Code Red and Team NP demonstrate that fans, pros, and players now have the ability to create their own independent businesses. That freedom only comes with a market is stable and growing. Regardless of the industry in question, no one would make an investment in anything that didn’t have a chance of making their investment back.
The impact on our community
One of the simplest ways to gauge growth in esports is by looking directly at the tournaments, especially in Dota 2. Simple comparisons between TI3 and TI6 can demonstrate how much money and effort goes into creating these events. The production value, the stage, the theatrics and the viewer experience have all improved dramatically. Purge’s popular recurring “weatherman” bit at Dota events is a great indication of the growing focus on production value.
Any growth is good growth. For fans, it means players are more likely to form and run their own teams, better production for viewers both at home and at the venue, and it means that we will see the continual growth of our favorite games. I think it’s safe to say that our community will be seeing more and more independent companies like Esports Travel emerge over the course of 2017.
Maybe we’ll see more esports pubs pop up or even esports-focused casinos. What do you think?