Forget marijuana stocks to buy or even cryptocurrencies: If you’re looking for transformative investments from a holistic perspective, video games and specifically esports is the way to go. From a somewhat negatively perceived past time to a multi-billion dollar industry, the burgeoning esports sector is one of the most compelling places to invest your portfolio.
Not only that, esports stocks to buy represent an ever-evolving segment of the broader gaming world. During the nascent stage of video games, the activity was very much a lonely, single-player phenomenon. Back in the 1980’s and most of the 1990’s, the only way to experience multi-player modes was to invite a friend over.
Later, in the mid-to-late 1990’s to early 2000’s when the internet first started to take off, gamers could play with and compete against people from across the country, and even throughout the globe. Still, connectivity and performance issues hindered esports development.
However, it didn’t take long for high-speed internet to proliferate at the consumer level. With the technological upgrade, esports stocks to buy gradually became viable investment platforms. Eventually, gaming manufacturers prioritized multi-player modes, with some even forgoing the single-player experience altogether.
Today, esports is a legitimate business enterprise, garnering engagement, participation, viewership and massive revenues. According to multiple sources, these metrics will only increase in magnitude in the coming years.
Naturally, you’ll want exposure to at least one of these esports stocks to buy. Here are eight names to consider:
Electronic Arts (EA)
Let’s just face some facts: Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) is having a rough year. Although EA stock is up over 14% since the beginning of January, it does almost nothing to soothe 2018’s disaster.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that EA stock is a true powerhouse among esports stocks to buy. Primarily, this is due to the underlying company’s EA Sports brand. Initially, this was an “in-house” brand to replicate sports broadcasting footage in their video games, but without paying licensing fees. But today, EA Sports is itself a recognized, mainstream entity.
And that’s because Electronic Arts owns lucrative sports licenses, such as the NFL or FIFA. From there, the company can develop games that tap into professional sports leagues’ real-life fandom. That helps bankroll esports tournaments that are only increasing in popularity. Thus, buying EA stock, especially on this dip, makes a lot of sense.
Activision Blizzard (ATVI)
As with shares of Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) is also having a rough go this year. At least with EA, it has the comfort of putting together a double-digit effort. In contrast, ATVI stock is up only 2% year-to-date.
However, toss Activision off your list of stocks to buy because the company offers a compelling take on esports. Last year, management launched the Overwatch League, a platform dedicated to gaming events and competitions. Moreover, Overwatch is gaining momentum from mainstream sponsors. This not only ramps up viewership numbers and engagement, it also facilitates robust revenue channels, such as through advertising.
Another persuasive reason to consider ATVI stock is the company’s library of popular games. Of course, Activision owns the Call of Duty series, which essentially sparked the first-person shooter craze.
Sure, some missteps and rising competition have hurt the video-game maker. However, such a lucrative franchise probably will never die, giving me confidence toward ATVI stock.
Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL)
Upon first glance, Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) and GOOG stock don’t immediately strike you as esports stocks to buy. However, this is where digging a little deeper reveals some powerful insights.
One of the most powerful drivers within the esports ecosystem is that it’s not just about the professional gamers. As laughable as it may sound to the uninitiated, it takes talent to be an elite gamer. But just like in real sports, consumers derive enjoyment from watching the best players compete. And that’s something that GOOGL stock has indirectly but consistently tapped into.
Easily one of the most popular topics on Alphabet-owned YouTube is video-game related streams. I’m not going to pretend that I understand this dynamic completely: why watch others play games when you can play them yourself?
However, video-game content streaming isn’t just about hardcore fanatics. Instead, casual gamers — such as yours truly — find value here. Suppose you can’t get past a certain point in a video game. Just load up a YouTube video for a tutorial.
The possibilities here for high-engagement ad revenue are enormous. That’s why you should definitely consider GOOG stock in your esports wish list.
Many folks are still not convinced about Sony (NYSE:SNE) and Japanese stocks to buy. After decades of deflation and other worrisome fundamentals, the entire country is a “show me” investment. Specifically regarding SNE stock, shares have basically moved sideways since early last year.
But even in the darkest days for Sony, one product kept the lights on. Of course, I’m talking about the PlayStation. Earlier this year, the current-generation PS4 hit nearly 92 million units sold. That simply dwarfs the competition, lifting prospects for SNE stock at the same time.
From the perspective of esports stocks to buy, Sony is really in a class of its own. Undoubtedly, gamers will clamor toward the company’s next-generation PS5. It’s conceivable that Sony will own the platform of multiple esports tournaments, providing a compelling reason to buy SNE stock.
If that wasn’t enough, Sony is also pushing toward a new experience in esports viewership through virtual reality. Judging by the incredible popularity of esports, this is a smart move. Therefore, don’t leave out SNE in your list of esports stocks to buy.
Verizon Communications (VZ)
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is also one of the stocks to buy that doesn’t immediately conjure up the esports phenomenon. However, for this industry to make the next leap forward, it can’t ignore 5G wireless speeds. As a result, you’ll want to pay very close attention to VZ stock.
Indeed, you can make the case that VZ stock is the most important name among esports stocks. You only need to look at history to understand this argument. When the internet first became a thing, connectivity speeds were downright pedestrian. And when I say pedestrian, I mean you could probably walk the information faster than you could uploading it.
Naturally, this yesteryear tech prevented legitimate esports tournaments from sprouting. However, with the next-generation 5G speeds, gamers can enjoy state-of-the-art graphics with no performance lag. After all, there’s probably nothing more frustrating than connectivity issues ruining a perfectly good session.
The other argument for buying VZ stock is that 5G facilitates gaming innovation. Most likely, esports will transition to new platforms like VR or even augmented reality. This requires massive data transmissions, something that only a 5G network can achieve.
Any discussion about esports stocks to buy must include semiconductor firms. Although it’s not an original idea, I believe it’s pound-for-pound the best at this juncture. And that name is Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) and NVDA stock.
For those unfamiliar with the broader video game phenomenon, let me drop a “truth” bomb: professional gamers are athletes. Yes, I know this sounds like an incredibly facetious thing to say. However, leading participants in esports tournaments rack up countless hours practicing their craft. In order to replicate in-tournament conditions, they purchase the best gaming rigs; hence, the reason I’m bullish on NVDA stock.
It might seem a waste of money to purchase expensive graphics processors simply to play video games. However, the average esports participant can make a decent living in this arena. And the best can truly live a life of luxury. Therefore, the cost for equipment is simply a necessary sacrifice.
If you own NVDA stock, it doesn’t really matter where that money is coming from, so long as it comes. And if I know anything about esports stocks to buy, that money is virtually guaranteed to come.
When you think about Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), esports stocks don’t represent the first thought to arrive in your head. Instead, you’re almost surely thinking about its dominance in e-commerce. If not, you probably remembered a few headlines about Amazon disrupting other tech-based industries. By the way, these are good reasons to own AMZN stock.
However, Amazon has also earned its place among the best esports stocks to buy. Primarily, I say this because it owns game-streaming service Twitch. Publicly, Twitch doesn’t reveal its subscriber numbers. But based on the multi-million sub count of individual Twitch users, you can extrapolate that this service is well into the hundreds of millions.
Obviously, this has powerful implications for AMZN stock as it relates to esports.
But a not-so-obvious factor is Amazon’s original e-commerce business. As I mentioned earlier, professional gamers are athletes. Therefore, they need the best equipment to stay on top of their game, no pun intended. Along with direct accessories like semiconductors, these e-athletes require game-centric furniture.
All of that can be provided from Amazon.com. Subsequently, this enhances the profile of AMZN stock.
Liberty Media Formula One (FWONA)
When Liberty Media Formula One (NASDAQ:FWONA) purchased the Formula One auto-racing league in 2016, it raised some eyebrows. Unlike Nascar or Indycar, F1 is decidedly an international affair. As such, it has the appeal of soccer in the U.S. We sort of care, but its popularity is dwarfed in comparison to home-grown leagues like the NFL.
And based on attendance stats at Nascar races, auto racing in general is declining conspicuously stateside. On the surface, this doesn’t bode well for FWONA stock.
However, F1 is one of the few racing leagues that have witnessed a sizable bump in attendance. Unsurprisingly, esports tournaments based on this crown jewel of motor racing are also massively popular. Thus, we have a speculative case for FWONA stock.
As of this writing, Josh Enomoto was long SNE stock.