How will a Trump presidency affect eSports?
Donald Trump will be the next president of the USA, the biggest eSports market on the planet. We take a look at how his presidency could affect the video game industry.
Donald Trump's proposals are an odd mix: a combination of traditional Republican ideas, others that seem more compatible with a Democrat outlook, as well as, more scarily, ideas from the very far right. The policy promises he's made on the campaign trail are in many cases unthinkable, but create doubt, and scare markets.
Economic effect of Trump
In terms of the economy, the long term impact is hard to predict, but the first big consequence of the hotel and casino magnate's win is a fall in the dollar and Wall Street futures. And that's bad news for professional eSports players, because tournament prizes are dollar denominated. For example, one of the most popular eSports in the world, Dota 2, offers a 20 million dollar prize pot at its world championships, The International.
Trump wants to put the brakes on free trade
Trump is dead against free trade deals, and has promised to put the brakes on imports, starting with a 45% duty on imports from China. If that happened it would lead to a crisis for North American esports sponsors, given that most of the brands involved make their products abroad.
Tough times for foreign born players
The future president of the US has made no secret of his anti-immigration agenda, alleging risks to homeland security and a lack of job opportunities for Americans. Trump wants to build a wall on the border with Mexico and deport the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants. This approach is likely to impact eSports, because most of the players competing in the US are from abroad, and there have already been problems with players obtaining visas for the US. The situation under a Trump presidency won't improve and is only likely to get worse.
Trump is no fan of video games
In Trump's ideology there is also plenty of room for criticism of video games, with the president-elect convinced they create monsters. If he takes this view into office, we can expect him to put every obstacle in the way of the much needed regulation of eSports, an industry that is expected to move over a billion dollars a year in the very near future.