Mobile gaming and eSports are two areas of gaming that have exploded in popularity over the past five years or so. Around 77 percent of US adults now own a Smartphone – in the UK that figure stands at 85 percent – and soon, carrying a smartphone will be like carrying a wallet – everyone will have one.
It’s little surprise, then, that with the technology at almost everyone’s fingertips, mobile gaming has become so popular among people of every age, whether they are typical “gamers” or not – after all, what better way to kill 20 minutes between meetings than popping into one of the numerous online gambling sites to spin the reels and win a few dollars? It is with exactly these kinds of casual gamers in mind that sites like Online Casino BlueBook put their exhaustive reviews and star ratings together.
At the same time, eSports has risen from fringe activity to multi-billion dollar global industry in the blink of an eye. League of Legends, CS:GO, Dota 2 – each has jostled for the lead in terms of being the biggest, and now it seems that Fortnite is going to outdo them all as it joins the eSports fray with a $100 million prize pot.
When two gaming trends collide
It takes a lot to trump $100 million, but the latest gaming trend could just do that. While the traditional eSports players are playing MOBA games, and the mobile gamers are spinning the reels or playing their game of choice, there are a growing number who are combining the two. And it could take gaming into a whole new direction.
The ubiquity and convenience of smartphones is certainly one reason, and their superior technical specification compared to a couple of years ago is another. Today, gaming phones like the Razer or the top offerings from Samsung and Apple have comparable processing power to the average laptop.
The other thing that has driven the change is that there is a broadening definition of what eSports means, and it goes beyond MOBAs and first-person shooters. Let’s take a look at some examples.
Popular mobile eSports
- Vainglory – the game that really put mobile eSports on the map is the exception that proves the rule. Vainglory is very much a “standard” eSports game, in as much as it is a MOBA in the League of Legends style. Vainglory has seen soaring popularity over the past 12 months, with a year-on-year increase of 150 percent in viewing figures.
- NBA 2K – not a mobile-specific eSport, but one that can as easily be played on the mobile app as it can on PC. Let’s be honest, if you’re going to play a MOBA game, it’s easier with a big screen in front of you. But the spread of eSports to other genres is one of the main drivers of mobile eSports. And NBA 2K is taking it super-seriously.
- Arena of Valor – this game appeared from nowhere at the end of 2015 and has since been downloaded more than five million times in North America alone. Its popularity is such that next month, there will be an Arena of Valor World Cup in Los Angeles, the first event of its kind in mobile eSports history.
So what are your thoughts? Do you follow the trend of eSports and have a certain game that are your favorites? Let us know how you think the industry is moving forward!
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Nerd Stash. An avid gamer since I could walk and can be found in Ashland, KY, where he hopes to find inspiration and uniqueness in life by meeting awesome people, development friendships with companies, and become more nerdy.