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Esports needs more than growth in 2019

January 10, 2019 / KEVIN HOVDESTAD

Bigger isn’t better. That’s the refrain I constantly repeat when discussing esports, because too many people seem to think more money or a bigger audience is the same as meaningful improvement. In 2018 like in every year in recent memory — esports got bigger, but what if that isn’t enough?Yes, growth is good — and if you’re an esports fan, it’s easy to see the past year as a series of victories. 2018 was a banner year in almost every regard, and certainly by the metrics that the esports industry has come to espouse: More prize money than any year prior found its way into the hands of an increasing number of players in new games and old alike. Major tournaments sold out massive stadiums all over the world. The industry grew to an estimated $900 million this year, with athletes and musicians from Michael Jordan to Drake investing lump sums in a variety of esports organizations, and estimates suggest that number could rise to $1.7 billion by 2021.