Article / 21/08/2019 / Lisa von Beust

Smartphone gaming, the future of esports?

We should not have to explain or describe the exponential success which esports have lately met. Impressive numbers have been reported by diverse studies, including ours, which is very promising for brands and actors that position themselves on the market.

Media analysis of the phenomenon’s context can suffice to convince them. Meanwhile, the esports market continues to develop alongside PCs and gaming consoles. Furthermore, one can find more and more games on smartphones or in virtual reality.

Smartphone gaming is a growing trend in Europe, the US and especially Asia which ensues directly from the growing number of smartphones and tablets. The combination with easier and mobile Internet access generates new fans who will discover esports games and competitions.

One could think that mobile esports is meant to significantly grow in the coming years. We present you some significant events in the development of this specific segment of the electronic sports environment.

It is difficult to mention smartphone games without looking at their first successful ancestor: the famous Snake on Nokia 3310 which has moved a large number of people. Since then, mobile phones have not stopped evolving in all aspects: better quality for colour displays, larger screens (and later on) touch screens.

An already significant success

Not everyone can afford the best gaming computer. On the contrary, many people possess a smartphone with a WiFi connection. Games are downloaded in one click and can be played directly. Esports on its own is already a growing trend with a speed not many industries have known. Its mobile version (on smartphones) represents the fastest growing and most lucrative part of the esports ecosystem, according to a Newzoo and Red Bull study. It has come to a point where classic esports designers are also taking a position in the area.

In addition, while gaming on smartphones (and by extension on a tablet) is still in its infancy, it corresponds to the trend of “everything mobile” where the generations are accustomed to having their life in their pocket, including their favourite games. Certain successful game are specifically made to play on smartphones such as Clash Royale and Clash of Clans, while others games are reworked computers games such as Call of Duty Mobile. Several different types of games are available: Arcade games, fighting games, multi-player games or single-player games.

The first big international competitions were organised by different major players in the industry and they also serve as a communication medium for big advertisement campaign. The ESL (Electronic Sports League) recently announced a new international competition together with Vodafone, which will use it to promote its 5G network. The tournament gives the telecom company an opportunity to present its 5G technology to millions of gamers.

Mobile gaming has a bright future ahead due to low costs and easy access. This area of esports is under construction and deserves to be watched closely. Brands hope to profit from the trend’s rise to position themselves in the market with the help of audience research and brand intelligence.

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