E-sports, an estimated 1.1 billion industry Curaçao has the potential to explore
E-sports have been growing into a full industry during the past years and surprisingly, there is great interest and possibilities for Curaçao in this industry. Juan Luis Mauricio thinks that Curaçao has everything it needs to explore this estimated 1.1 billion industry.
Juan Luis Mauricio is an IT specialist in the online betting sector and amateur gamer. He gave us some insights about E-sports in Curaçao. He also hosts the radio program ‘Ball is Life’ at the radio station 88 Rock Kòrsou. “I consider myself mostly an E-gamer. I play for fun”, Juan Luis stated. He thinks that Curaçao has some really talented players who could aim to do this professionally and we could also use Curaçao as the Caribbean hot spot for E-sports.Wikipedia defines E-sports as follow: “a form of sport competition using video games”.
E-sports often take the form of organized, multiplayer video game competitions, particularly between professional players, individually or as teams. E-sports mimics the experience of watching a professional sporting event, except instead of watching a physical event, spectators watch video gamers compete against each other. Believe it or not Curaçao has many good players with international potential. This is definitely an industry we need to keep an eye on. Last June, the amateur gamer hosted the final of the Curaçao Gaming League. This event was a live FIFA 20 competition and took place at the Madero Beach Club. ‘I am happy to have been part of the event. It was a great experience. Seeing so many young people come together and enjoy the games and competition, makes me proud. The organization in charge of the competition did a great job and it was beyond our expectation”, Juan Luis explained.
The competition attracted a large crowd of young male gamers that participated. This is no surprise since E-sports are worldwide dominated by males. “Curacao has the potential; we have great teams and people interested in E-sports. This is definitely an industry we can explore and benefit of”, according to Juan Luis. “If all the correct partners join and develop a plan of action, Curaçao can be the perfect spot to organize more gaming competitions in the Caribbean”. During the first stage of the pandemic Covid-19 that is still unfolding, many economic sectors were affected. But for other sectors it was the perfect time to grow. The E-sports industry had a big boost because of the pandemic. With all traditional sporting events on hold across the world, many gambling fans have turned to e-sports, and as a result this can be also beneficial for the gamers aiming to become professionals and play at the highest levels. Now more than ever, gaming is providing a way to remain socially connected despite being physically isolated.
“E-sports could be another economic industry on the island. We experienced already big local companies interested in E-sports that sponsored the first edition of the Curaçao Gaming League. We also had a great number of local audience”, Juan Luis emphasized. Business Insider Intelligence estimated; “viewership will grow at a 9% compound annual growth rate between 2019 and 2023, up from 454 million in 2019 to 646 million in 2023”. The increasing audience and engagement activities, many live streaming of games, and increasing infrastructure for the tournaments are key factors driving the market growth. Juan Luis also explained that there are some infrastructural aspects Curaçao might have to work on, like better internet connection if we really want to explore this industry.
The professionalization in the industry has created worldwide lucrative opportunities for game developers, gamers, influencers, and event organizers. This is the perfect place for business and Curaçao could benefit from it. “The government and other interested partners could invest in this and help create the right platform where the young people interested in E-sports can develop their talent”, Juan Luis explained. He also said that for many years people have tried to denigrate gaming by stating that violent games affected the mental health of people, but this is proven not to be true.
“E-sports can be seen as any other sport. Professional players have their own teams consisting of cooks, masseurs, coaches, etc. It is the same as any other sport but just on a digital field”.
To finalize Juan Luis states that as with anything you want to achieve in life, you have to be dedicated and invest a lot of time to perfect it. “If you want to be a gamer or achieve anything in life, just go for it and do it. For the gamers, keep practicing and make us proud!”