Console gaming is a huge industry that sees major titles released on an annual basis. Some of these games sell millions of copies, including famed series like Call of Duty, FIFA, and Halo. Given the publicity and massive amount of sales surrounding the console market, you’d think that esports would be dominated by these games.
Interestingly enough, though, the most popular games in esports are played on a PC. These titles include Defense of the Ancients 2 (Dota 2), League of Legends (LoL), Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Hearthstone. The tournaments surrounding these games feature the most prize money and draw the largest audiences through ESPN and online streaming services.
This may lead you to wonder why PC games are so dominant on the esports scene. I’ll discuss this matter by looking at what makes PC titles so special, along with why console games seem like they should be featured.
Go to the video game section of a big box store like Wal-Mart and you’re bound to see rows of console game titles. You can take your pick from countless Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo games. You’ll also see signs and cardboard cutouts advertising the latest releases. Considering everything that goes into pushing these games, it’s no wonder why console titles are so popular among the average gamer.
These games are also featured in more online and television advertisements. In fact, I’ve recently been bombarded by number of ads for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on YouTube and other sites. I’m not saying that computer games aren’t also advertised. But the ads dedicated to PC gaming is nowhere near what’s seen with the console segment.
All of this creates the picture that console games should dominate esports. In reality, though, PC titles reign supreme in competitive gaming. Some predicted several years ago that console games would soon render PC gaming obsolete. But these predictions couldn’t be further from the truth thanks to esports and loyal computer players.
It’s easy to see that computer games are top dog among competitive players. You need only look at Dota 2’s “The International” and LoL’s “World Championship” – the two biggest annual esports events – to see that the industry has embraced the PC market.
What are the underlying reasons behind why computer games are so popular inesports? Here are some reasons beyond the matter.
Earlier I described how advertising and store shelves create the impression that console games rules the industry. But one look at 2017 sales between console and PC games will dispel this notion. According to a study by GamesIndustry, PC gaming accounts for 28% of total sales in the video game market. Contrast this to console gaming, which generates 29% of sales.
oing further into the numbers, $32.3 billion was sold in PC titles. This is awfully close to the $33.5 billion worth of sales for console games. Neither segment comes overly close to mobile gaming, which leads the market with 43% of total sales. But you can see that there’s hardly any gap between console and PC game sales.
Companies that make PC titles are likely more profitable when considering that they can sell the same games for years. Console gaming companies, on the other hand, create sequels to their series on a regular basis. Therefore, they’re spending more money in advertising and manpower to earn around the same percentage of sales.
If you’re a fan of popular console series like Halo or FIFA, you can look forward to a new addition every year. This is great from the perspective that you get fresh updates on your favorite series.
The downsides, though, are that you also have to spend more money and learn a different game each time. What’s more is that this severely reduces the value and entertainment of any older editions you own. For example, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 recently hit stores at the time of this post. I guarantee that Call of Duty: WWII will be collecting dust on many players’ shelves once they have the latest version.
Relating this specifically to esports, a pro console gamer hasto learn new additions every year in order to keep up with their competitors. Additionally, the organizations that hold tournaments around console games also need to update their marketing and other efforts.
Of course, games like Call of Duty still retain esports popularity despite these difficulties. But it’s much easier for players and leagues to center everything on a single game that has more longevity. Professional PC players only need to worry about mastering updates that are added to games. This allows them to keep their skills sharp without having to completely relearn new maps and other intricacies.
Every esports player has to get started somewhere. And many find it easier to start with affordable games, rather than dropping $50 to $70 on console titles. PC games are much cheaper when compared to their console counterparts. You can find a number of good computer games for anywhere between $10 and $20. These cheap prices allow PC games to develop strong fan bases around the globe, rather than just in first-world countries that can afford expensive titles.
Another thing worth mentioning is that you can get more entertainment value out of the average PC title versus a console game. Computer games often feature expansive maps and side missions. The companies that make them also offer updates to continue providing fresh content.
This creates a situation where you can get years of enjoyment out of the same game. Furthermore, you can truly master your craft when you dedicate so much time to the same title. An aspiring pro who’s spent five years playing Dota 2, for example, will find their transition into esports much easier than if they’d dedicated their time to multiple console games.
One more thing that makes PC gaming an easier entry point for aspiring professionals is that it’s easier to download pirated versions of these titles. This isn’t to say that it’s impossible to get pirated console games. But the process is more difficult for the average person.
Therefore, some video game enthusiasts get pirated PC titles and become used to playing on their computers as a result. Assuming they ever become an elite gamer, they’ll be more comfortable with PC-based esports.
Additionally, pirated computer games help create a larger fan base around this type gaming. Even if you’re using pirated copies, you’re still more likely to become a fan of PC gaming over the console version.
I thoroughly enjoy betting on esports. Therefore, the final topic I’d like to discuss is whether you should wager on PC or console esports. You may not be into betting on esports and simply enjoy watching them instead.But if you have any interest in this, then you might find my advice worthwhile.
I strongly suggest that you focus on betting PC gaming over the console variety over for multiple reasons, with the first being that there’s simply more action available. I explained earlier how the biggest esports tournaments revolve around popular computer games. If you’re looking for the greatest selection of lines and prop bets, then you’re going to find them with PC-based esports.
Another reason why you should focus on computer esports is that you have a better chance of mastering the games. Dota 2 has been out since 2013. If you’ve been betting on this game all along, this gives you five years of experience with regard to knowing Dota 2 players, leagues, and other fine points.
Contrast this to Call of Duty, which features a new version every year. COD pros must refresh their knowledge with every new release. Players/teams can either improve or become worse when making the transition to the latest version. This also forces you to read calibrate your knowledge of the players/teams for each release.
One more reason to bet on PC video games is simply that you have a greater chance to earn profits. Maybe you aspire to become a professional esports bettor one day. In this case, you’re going to find more liquidity and wagering opportunities in PC sports. Bookmakers dedicate the bulk of their lines towards major events, which mostly revolve around computer titles.
I mentioned earlier how the heavy advertising surrounding console games makes them seem far more popular. But not even this is true when considering that there’s only a 1% difference when comparing PC and console game sales. Of course, consoles do hold a spot in the esports industry. Call of Duty, Street Fighter II, FIFA, and Halo feature valid professional leagues that draw plenty of viewers.
These console titles are also big among the larger markets that purchase them on an annual basis. But again, there are several factors holding these games back with regard to esports. Taking everything into account, I suggest that you focus on understanding PC games and their players if you’re going to bet on the action.
You’ll find that there are much larger events surrounding popular computer games like CSGO and Dota 2 than there are the biggest console titles. This gives you more opportunities to make money on regular lines, prop bets, and other types of wagers.
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