The question: ‘what is the difference between esports and gaming’ may be confounding for brands seeking entry into this space with such a growing global audience.
As a brand, you want to collaborate with structured and defined players in the target market for better ROI. Esports and gaming may operate on the same platform, but that is about all in similarity as both have different structures.
Brands thinking about investment for marketing returns must understand how these two operate before choosing one. Admittedly, both have a strong online following and global audience. However, esports is competitive professional gaming, whereas gaming is not and is mainly for enthusiasts who may monetize it.
Esports is a professional sport
Organization, competitive levels, professional players, and dedicated fans may define a recreation activity as a sport. Esports has all these elements with organized events and tournaments featuring professional teams that play to spectator audiences. Players here receive training and care the same as professional players in traditional sports.
Gaming, on the other hand, is purely an amateur entertainment pastime that happens outside of organized competitions. Gamers play to create content for online entertainment and may monetize this for income, but they earn professional fees like their counterparts in esports. They do not have teams, and though they may occasionally play with friends, they are mainly solo acts.
Adoption into the mainstream
To widen the chasm between esports and gaming further, colleges and universities are endorsing the former and adopting it into college sports. This started with the formation of the National Association of Collegiate Esports for college gaming.
Naturally, the collegiate gaming events are going to feed the professional ranks with emerging gifted student gamers.
Since the formation of the Collegiate Esports association in 2016, over a hundred colleges and universities now grant scholarships for outstanding gamers. Organized tournaments offer students a chance to compete and earn prize money in scholarships, with some schools granting up to 50% of the tuition cost.
Esports scholarship programs in schools and universities have given a boost to this category’s acceptance into the mainstream alongside traditional sports.
Brand marketing can work well with organized esports than with solo gaming streamers even though both may have large audiences.
Centsports, the popular online betting site offering free sports betting, will find it highly lucrative collaborating with esports leagues that stage competitive games than streamers who simply entertain. Fans want to bet on competitive games that have winners and losers to define stakes.
For brand marketing, the charged competitive atmosphere around the esports events can drive effective content messaging to a captive audience with better results. Professional players who excel are also good for influencer marketing that brands can leverage. This is why it is important to understand the difference between the versions of video gaming.
Does gaming pay?
Whereas professional esports athletes earn well and can take home a tidy sum in prize money, they may not necessarily be the highest earners in the industry.
Surprisingly, average streamers can rake up a large following online to have them earning several thousands of dollars a month. Gamers do not have to suffer the rigorous training hours that esport players go through and yet can earn more.
The key here lies in the ability of the gamer to create entertaining content that attracts more online fans. You also may have played in the professional leagues at one time and now leverage that image to attract a following for your streaming.
A popular moneymaker is the walkthrough whose content targets those seeking playing tips or learning video gaming.