Would you believe if we said that a 16-year-old boy won $3 million for winning a gaming competition with over a million viewers watching him online? He did not achieve this feat by simply playing games as a hobby. In the millennial world, video gaming is a profession; it’s a world that easily sees $1.1 billion in the market, looking to overtake human competitors. AI in esports has become the weapon to achieve this goal. Artificial Intelligence is not only used against human competitors but also to train and help humans to finish the games on a high.

How AI presents a Revenue Opportunity in Esports?

1. Where there are players, there is an AI coach

AI is responsible for coaching most of the top players in esports. There are several coaching apps such as SenpAI and Omnicoach. These platforms provide insights including player strengths, weaknesses, and analyze the performance strategies to help them become better. MOBA games like League of Legends, Dota2 take Artificial Intelligence help for alternate strategies for better chances of winning.

2. Growing investment interests from brands

Massive brands like RedBull, Audi, Monster Energy, etc. have been premiere stakeholders in AI strategies to stay ahead of the competition. This only means that AI coaching will expand beyond professional leagues and tournaments. With growing regular interests and demands, the market is projected to reach $1.8 billion in revenue by 2022, according to NewZoo. Advertising and sponsorship revenues are skyrocketing and there are more and more new investors pitching in.

3. AI gets better with more practice

There are some AI that is specifically trained in one sport. These get better at strategies by playing against themselves. This is probably the closest to humans AI has ever come. Most of the AI have known to defeat elite players (including chess grandmaster Gary Kasparov) and are programmed to ensure easy combat of opponent strategies. This means they get better at prediction mechanisms with time and are always a step ahead of humans.

What does the future hold for AI in Esports?

Machines are not here to replace humans. They are here to either make their lives better or challenge them, as in esports. Gary Kasparov, addressing his “defeat” to a computer said that it was a victory for humans because it was a human creation that surpassed a human. Therefore, it is vital to combine the powers of machines and humans. Augmentation is the answer to the question raised.

Kasparov made an effort in this direction and experimented with something called Advanced Chess. A human and machine combination competed against another pair of the same. Later, a freestyle competition with grandmasters, chess players and supercomputers from all over the world was conducted and two amateur players from the United States of America won. It was the effective use of human and machine powers that won and not individual brilliance of either.

This indicates that we need interfaces to combine human intuition and machine prediction, human skills and machine memory, human experience and machine precision, and so on. Though this combination of machines and humans is already in place, with every human experience, the machine gets updated. The accuracy of the machines increases with every update. The future lies in the perfect use of this combination. It is not man vs machine anymore. The world still has a human champion in every sport.

AI will Fight Against Match-Fixing in Esports

The latest addition to the esports sector is tackling match-fixing and cheating. As in any sporting arena, esports has also been plagued with match-fixing. Forbes has predicted that match-fixing may rotate more than $23 billion by the end of this year. Apart from ESIC, which was laid as a set of rules to combat match-fixing, Artificial Intelligence is used to analyze usual betting patterns and identify suspicious activities and patterns of manipulation.

As one can see, esports is now on par with any professional sport and it is here to stay. With massive investments and increasing revenues every passing year, it is sure to reach the level of mainstreaming esports and gaming. This would ultimately lead to cropping up and the rapid growth of miniature industries related to esports. This is a human prediction that is set to come true in the near future.