The reason the sports industry has the notoriety and consistent profitability it has today is largely because it encompasses passionate people with a thirst for innovation. Within the sports industry, we’ve reached a pinnacle pivot in the evolution of the space as it relates to fan participation and engagement. And that pivot comes in the form of esports.

Last year alone, the industry produced an estimated $865 million in revenue – a growth of 32% from 2017 – and that number is projected to exceed $1.7 billion by 2021, per Statista projections. Partnerships between traditional sports franchises and esports franchises are increasing. Currently, advertising on esport’s platforms remains significantly cheaper than doing so on with traditional sports.

So, what does all this mean? That this is the year esports secures its place in the mainstream sports world. The window of opportunity to get involved is now. Watching in amazement at the level of innovation, growth, and interest in the space, businesspeople and sports fans joined forces to build the Esports Trade Association (ESTA) where small businesses can join forces to share their passions and continue to grow the space.