The past year has been a good indicator of both how far mobile esports have come, and how much farther they can go. Not that long ago, mobile gaming was seen as an established domain of casual players and nothing else, with no potential for professional play. Now, thanks to the blockbuster titles like Clash Royale, people are slowly noticing that mobile esports are a viable facet of the industry. Now, the earnings report for the top 10 rated players in mobile esports shows that this trend is more than tangible from a financial perspective.
Breaking the Records
During 2018, the top 10 esports players competing in mobile titles won a combined $8 million in prize money. While this sum might not sound impressive at first, it shows a range of important trends. First, in 2017 the cumulative prize money sum for the top players was 2.7 million. In 2016, it stood at $1.8 million. The monetary growth alone is proving to be enough for investors to bring more money to competitions, leagues, and tournaments. This would not happen if the viewers did not flock to the same competitive events, offering a glimpse into the possible growth of advertisement possibilities associated with mobile esports broadcasts.
Causation Between the Trend Lines
The growth numbers are looking good for mobile esports, just like the fact that many mobile devices are slowly becoming modified to support mobile gaming. The mobile game market is valued at over $70 billion, where most of the profits belong to game developers and publishers that often have nothing to do with esports. Fortunately for the mobile esports ecosystem, the 300 percent increase in prize earnings will get many developers to reassess their commitment to the casual market. It could be argued that the rise in mobile esports developers is following a pattern similar to the growth of the prize pools. This means that 2019 should see at least a doubling of mobile esports titles that are going to hit the market in the next 12 to 18 months.
Finally, there is another interesting factor in the data related to the top mobile esports earners of 2018. Out of the 10 top players, seven of them are women. This is a very telling sign for mobile esports and a positive development for esports as an industry. Gaming, but especially core gaming markets have been a hard sell for many female players, even after it was clear that they are playing the same games in huge numbers. However, the top-layer culture that formed in these communities made it often hard for women to get involved on a broader level. In mobile esports, the same issue could be less of a problem, which is a fantastic basis for further growth. This, along with many other advantages of mobile esports, shows one of the most promising domains of the whole industry.
Image source: tiltreport.com