There are many articles on the question of whether "eSport" displaces real football. We would suggest this first, to change the terminology from eSport to eGaming and to consider “eSport” separately. So let's define eSport this way, that it only includes real sports (z.B. Baskteball, Soccer etc), but which are carried out “digitally”. At eGaming we count classics like Fortnite etc which are not important in our discussion.
So esport is replacing real sport? In our case, eFootball is replacing real football?
We actually wanted to ask this question before the corona situation, the question would have been "whether"…now the question is actually more "when".
When will eFootball be at the level of real football?? And what consequences could that have??
We present a few potentials for this, many questions, possible effects, Theories or visions.
Then and now
Let's go back in time a few years or decades.
Who grew up in the 90s, should have seen pretty much every game console to date.
You could have followed all game genres in its development, and at the same time marvel at the unstoppable development of the Internet.
We are sure that we agree, that until the turn of the millennium, probably at least in Europe, not wasted any thought on today's excesses / potentials of e-sports. Just imagine, a child or teen would have said at that time, it wanted to become a professional eSportsman. The poor child would have been released for adoption immediately. And even today 2020, it is still frowned upon in many places to talk about such a dream within families, but, isn't it also related to real football?
Everyone knows the situation from himself, or from friends / acquaintances. If you, let's say around the early 90s, turned to his parents with the dream of becoming a professional footballer, it usually hailed rejection. In some cases, careers of potential professional footballers have already been made here, already in the making, nipped in the bud. 20 Years later it looked very different, sometimes it's already the parents, that are pushing your kids to become professional footballers, since you have recognized, how much money is involved.
Now let's briefly turn to the here and now. What will parents say about their children today?, who express the wish, to become a professional esports athlete (regardless of genre)? How is that in 5-10 be? Certainly identical.
How to get this interesting Wikipedia page can see, became the first larger, "International" event in esport every year 2000 held in Seoul. Mostly (still) Asian shaped. World championships are now held in all genres. Generation Y / Millennials are on the rise, unstoppable.
A new age is dawning
The foundation of "Twitch" (belongs to Amazon Inc.) 2011 but should probably be the real starting signal for a golden age of e-gaming. The number of hits from eGamer's “live watching” continues to increase and has meanwhile reached financial spheres, who probably (currently) only be topped by Youtube. Incidentally, other platforms such as i.a.. Youtube and Facebook also on this train. The growth of these platforms gives an idea of the potential. It remains to be seen, Which new platforms are still being created and whether current platforms such as Netflix are also following suit. The betting industry has already included the eSports area in the program.
Let's ignore it, that other genres (still) are much more popular in the eGaming world and we are focusing again on the eFootball market.
It was in Germany 2016 the VFL Wolfsburg, who was the first Bundesliga club to set up his own esports department. 4 Years later, this case has become routine, and almost worldwide. If we are still aware of which (Corona) Situation as we are today, it is not surprising, that we now take up this "question". By the way, the sports show has an interesting one overview about the current activities (during the corona quarantine) created in eSports. The conclusion of all participants is consistently positive and the "number of spectators" is remarkable. Everyone is also happy about the positive social media effects.
So we see, even the initial critics have recognized, that you can't close your eyes to it, and must actively participate, so as not to lose the connection. It will be more crucial than ever, how to win this so-called Generation Y for yourself.
A virtual Bundesliga This already exists, other countries offer similar competitions. There are even national teams. example: https://www.dfb.de/enationalmannschaft/das-team/
It should be mentioned positively, that the DFB recognized momentum as a pioneer and with its platform https://www.dfb-efootball.of/ started this year. eFootball is the focus here and some of the points we mentioned below probably fall into the decision for such a platform. So there will certainly be a not inconsiderable eSports department in the new DFB Academy in Frankfurt. Let’s not forget, that this industry is already generating a lot of jobs, and that we think will grow significantly.
Let's stick to the topic of workplaces and see which areas are different how could develop.
As already mentioned, carry platforms like Twitch marketing this field significantly, there are participations based on clicks, Sponsors and prize money up to the millions and eSports is currently in last place compared to other genres!
Let's go from the last known numbers / Salaries the e-soccer player, which are between 60,000USD and 350,000USD per year, it's simple math, to guess, that this area could one day end up in the spheres of real football (depending on community development worldwide). Digitization is already more advanced in many smaller countries than in the supposedly larger ones. It will therefore not be a technical obstacle, to get a global network of eSports to the level of real sports. Sometimes it should be easier and faster.
So let's continue to spin this.
So assuming, that the financial framework (nearly) would be achieved, would have a massive impact. You would have to "train" to almost the same extent, "keep fit" and develop, it will become again Employee and Departments have to give, that drive this forward, so-called Coaches (and yes, there are already, especially in South Korea).
Technical aids for the Analysis and even that Scouting already exists, but would then also be available in an adapted form. Imagine a video scouting platform like WyScout So for eFootball players. It is not that difficult for us to introduce us to Transfermarkt.de, for example, on eSport, and it already exists in the early stages: https://www.transfermarkt.de/intern/esports. Analysts would have to- and analyze disadvantages of playing styles, Collect statistics, may even recognize team and tactically relevant game patterns in the future. For example, what would be attributes of eSportsmen that you would have to scout and analyze? Speed of action, Composure, Technology etc – it's fun to imagine. And here too, e-players can receive yellow cards / red cards and injure themselves (z.B. Capsule tear in the finger). So scouts would analyze and track e-footballers, to possibly attract its potential for your own club. Best by (Live) „Scouting Feed“ 😉
And that brings us to the next topic, Transfers. eFooters could be lured, be sold / bought, even lent. Accordingly, there will also be "clubless" players, Market values would arise and, as in the domino effect, would also represent economic pillars of your clubs.
Contiguous, could one day be a formidable Hype around the players arise, as we know them from Messi or Ronaldo these days. Social media technically, some eGamers are already at the same level as these top stars.
The question of Game in itself comes up however. Which game, from a technical point of view one would use? FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer (much more popular in Asia) are the current pioneers, if we talk about VR right away, this in turn could change everything. Ligament systems, world- and European championships already exist, even if in a modified form. These would have to be planned and defined more precisely. But like e.g.. would be dealt with in a global comparison, if one uses FIFA but the other uses "Pro Evo"? The annual adjustments to the respective games would also be explosive innovations (comparable to engine changes in the formula 1) entail. exciting.
eSport outlets the current clubs are also already discussing. The infrastructure of our vision is therefore fully given. Nevertheless, personal surveys of employees in all of the above-mentioned areas gave predominantly arguing arguments on a global level. You either don't want to admit it, because you are afraid to lose your own importance in the game and thus your job, or you simply cannot imagine it.
„Offline venues“Are also already available, For example, there is already a small arena in Hamburg that allows tens of thousands of spectators to follow the experience live in the stadium atmosphere.
Questions after questions. Will there even be naming rights for stadiums?? How will i .A. the rights / licenses of the games and players, Marketed and distributed videos etc.? And by whom?
Who of the current producers resp. what kind of company will there be, that produce the pictures / videos?
The Effects on real sports would be clearly felt in any case. It would surely be a kind of "redistribution" of interests, Sponsorship funds, Give membership numbers etc. The already declining numbers of active athletes would surely increase. This inevitably can have little positive for the general health aspect of people and can mean unforeseeable changes of a global social nature.
But it could also be the case with “club life” and membership numbers potential give, this though different to generate but still too receive or even too increase. We haven't even got the issue yet Virtual Reality mentioned, and what additional potential this area could bring for all mentioned areas. Let’s just think of potential “viewer earnings” that everyone could generate almost anywhere. Then there must be sold out stadiums at all, or could not be much more people via VR access (unpaid or paid) take part in a game as a "fan" and live viewer.
Virtual Reality could literally become a separate game changer, because then you would not even do sports “passively” via consoles or PCs, but almost active in virtual space, Trainings- and game units would also be designed very differently, possibly also locally unbound!? All of the previously mentioned areas would also have to be adapted. An e-footballer would then be a single active player within a real team, imagine 22 Field players and referees in their VR version!
Here, too, you can continue to develop endlessly and raise questions, ob man z.B. can then also work on the athletics and technology of VR eSports athletes, like you do in real football. Will there even be injured players and will the age of the players be decisive?
Too absurd? May be, but doesn't have to. One could also legitimately ask, what "comes after VR".
That falls (in our opinion) briefly out. We already mentioned it at the beginning. The question is not "whether", but when it will be so far and how. There will be a "redistribution". Inevitably, and situations like "Corona" only favor and accelerate that, the named areas of eSports are gradually being conquered or developed. First nationally and then increasingly internationally (networked).
Or what do you think?