Since its inception and growth of popularity within the past decade or so, esports has largely been centred around the PC platform as many of the biggest titles are only represented on the one platform – there have been some small outliers such as the popular Call of Duty that was largely played on console, but for technical reasons many tournament organisers are starting to move away from even that as the recent Call of Duty League known as CDL has moved to PC too – but there may be a gap for our mobile devices as growing support may see a limited number of esports titles move to our mobile phone.
(Image from egb.com)
The likely candidates are currently in the Battle Royale genre – games such as Fortnite or Players Unknown Battlegrounds were able to grow extremely quickly on our handheld devices and continue to be amongst the most downloaded and most popular games, there are even community run leagues and events that focus solely on mobile players and deny entry elsewhere even if cross-play is available and with future tech coming it could remove many of the restrictions that have prevented any further push from happening.
The biggest change will come in the introduction of 5G networking – offering download speeds up to ten times faster of those currently available with the addition of additional capacity, the ability for more players to get together and open the opportunities for more of an esports styled version of gameplay.
There are of course plenty of challenges to any potential future esports title taking part on mobile devices – the biggest would be in broadcast options as a large part of the viewership comes from livestreaming and capturing the mobile device whilst upholding performance at the same time would be extremely difficult, similarly developing any kind of competitive scene could be just as difficult as many of the titles are still aimed at a more casual player base.
With the development of different scenes outside of esports however with the rapidly growing betting market around the bigger names such as League of Legends and Counter-Strike on this site however, it may not be long before interests seek other platforms to continue expanding on the already growing success. Whilst the focus may not be around the more mechanical games that have been the most popular lately, the form may take on some more adventure or puzzle style games that are more suited to the devices and the type of players and playstyle that frequent mobile games – with future tech on its way such as virtual reality however it may not be all too long until the device used isn’t necessarily important as the gap is bridged and further opportunities open up, and with the majority of players with suggestions of over 50% of all gamers on a mobile device, it’s certainly looking to be the future for gaming as a whole and the eventually and gradual shift as the hardware and capabilities continue to improve inline with our gaming needs.