Is mobile gaming the future of esports?

From what we’ve seen so far – especially at E3 (check out Part 1 and Part 2 of my review), mobile games are exploding in popularity.

It’s a 50+ BILLION dollar industry, with 2.1 billion gamers worldwide and growing.

Popular mobile games include the well known: PUBG, Fortnite (why Battle Royale games are popular escapes me), Hearthstone and mobile only titles such as Clash Royale, Vainglory and Shadowverse.

But let’s face it, nothing can top ‘Snake’. When is the snake esports tournament coming? I have been practising since I was a child. I’m READY!

I spoke to a developer from a popular MOBA to get some insight (they wanted to remain anonymous).

“It’s good to see more and more mobile games join in the esports sphere.” 

“Mobile is becoming a huge hit in the west for the first time and it puts us in an exciting spot to grow.”

Her thoughts on potential hurdles for mobile games?  

“It may be difficult to get the traditional esports fans into mobile. It’s hard enough to get regular folks to accept esports so it’s even harder to convince them that mobile esports is the real deal.

“I think attitudes will change when people really see what mobile gaming can be and accomplish.”

After snake esports: I’m ready for offline dino esports.

Next, I spoke to Chris ‘Mayo’ Smith – Director of Business in Games. This is what he had to say about phone gaming and the Aussie scene.

“They have much less technical limitations when compared to PC games. Statista claims that 20 million Australians will own mobile phones in 2019, showing a majority of people have access to the technology required to participate in mobile esports titles.

“PC titles always create another barrier of entry, often requiring people to have a decently specced machine, peripherals, monitor and solid internet connection. In Australia, they don’t exist in a competitive format right now. The only way is up.”

It is pretty sad to hear there are no real competitive tournaments here yet, but I foresee them growing in the ANZ region very soon.

Finally, I spoke to Dane Weeden Esports Journalist and Partnership Manager at IGN Southeast Asia.

“I would argue they are the future of esports given their accessibility. In Southeast Asia they are already the dominant esports market.”

What about the downsides?

“One of the biggest negatives so far has been predatory developers. We see games that do things like giving stat bonuses for skins which a PC esport would never get away with.

“Also some of these games feature aspects copied almost directly from existing titles and have pending lawsuits against them.”

For those of you interested in going pro, this is what he had to say:

“In terms of players looking to go pro – it isn’t so different from other esports. Owners tend to go straight to the leader-boards and find the highest ranked player who doesn’t have a team.

“Teams with good results in national competitions are also likely to get picked up. One factor that helps greatly in getting acquired by an organisation is if the team already has a strong social media presence and if they have players who often stream their game play.”

Very eloquent advice, Dane!

Judging from these discussions, the future of mobile esports is both massive and exciting.

For me personally, I love playing Hearthstone and the mobile version is very convenient for me since I’m always travelling on the train. I think the UI is well thought out to help people with butterfingers (like me) to avoid making mistakes.

Indeed, Valeera, indeed.

There are a lot of cross platform titles that have mobile esport counterparts, however the popularity of Clash Royale and Clash of Clans (I sure hope they don’t clash together) proves that mobile only titles are very profitable and legitimate esport titles.

Mobile gaming can offer a more unique experience (such as augmented reality gaming like Pokémon GO) and offers a really accessible (and much cheaper) way to venture into esports.

Aim for the stars,


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