This swiftly advancing sector is driving demand for the components that make it possible.
Earlier this summer, esports took center stage at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Vegas, where 10,000 square feet of space was dedicated to the E3 Esports Zone. When describing the conference scene, one analyst joked that E3 2019 could have been renamed Esports Enthusiasm Everywhere given how many esports events took place at the conference. The experience at E3 isn’t new, though – once a niche field, esports has hurtled into the cultural arena to be a powerhouse entertainment industry. And, like music and traditional sports and other forms of entertainment before it, esports pushes demand for the tech underpinnings that help drive it.
The hardware and component requirements that go into powering esports competitions are massive. From the stadiums where tournaments play out to the gear players use to compete, electronic components play pivotal roles in each facet of these events. With various leagues around the world, the size of esports’s global audience has overtaken Major League Baseball’s. Esports fandom shows no signs of slowing down and will need more hardware support as the avenue continues to grow.
To aid in the hardware effort, Intel partnered in late 2018 with esports company ESL on a three-year, $100 million deal. With the goal of expanding esports’s profile worldwide, Intel will provide a joint investment in technology and events for some of the biggest esports competitions through 2021. The company also plans to continue driving the growth of the PC gaming field by developing innovations across its GPUs, CPUs, and memory to improve players’ capabilities and experiences.
There are many esports stadiums currently in use across the United States. Most notably, Allied Sports opened its HyperX Esports Arena last year inside the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The 30,000-square-foot arena is named after HyperX, a maker of popular headsets and other gaming accessories. North America’s largest esports center, located in Arlington, Texas, also opened this past November. The arena boasts a state-of-the-art broadcast studio and an 85-foot-long LED wall.
Blizzard’s Overwatch remains one of the most popular games played in professional leagues, with 20 teams around the world participating in the Overwatch League. These teams – so far – have battled it out at Blizzard’s arena in Los Angeles. By the end of next year, though, each of the teams will have a dedicated stadium in its home city for gameplay.
Esports’s trajectory will keep climbing as it secures its place (and popularity) in mainstream entertainment and as more and more gaming leagues form around the world. Customized stadiums, headsets, and other hardware are the essentials that underpin the competition and entertainment elements of these events, and demand for them will only keep growing with the field. Keep an eye out for rising CPU and GPU component demand in the esports and video game sectors as their industry growth continues to build momentum.
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